Nova Scotia

'If you're getting bullied, let people know': Victim in viral video speaks out

A Sydney-area boy who was the victim of bullying this week says people should speak out. The incident at Riverview High School in Coxheath, N.S., was recorded on a cellphone and posted to social media.

'When I see the video, I get goosebumps because I'm surprised that I'm OK' 

A boy who was attacked by a larger youth at Riverview High School says he is surprised he wasn't hurt worse than he was. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

A Sydney-area boy who was the victim of bullying this week says people should speak out.

The incident at Riverview High School in Coxheath, N.S., was recorded on a cellphone and posted to social media.

It shows a bigger youth grab the boy and throw him across what appears to be a locker room. The larger youth then slams the 14-year-old boy against a tiled floor and the boy lands on his head and neck.   

Other youths can be seen watching and can be heard urging the attacker on.

'I'm surprised that I'm OK'

The boy tells the CBC he's surprised he wasn't more seriously hurt. CBC has decided not to name him in online stories in order to protect his future privacy.

"I'm in some pain, but I feel like I'm doing good, hopefully," he said. "When I see the video, I get goosebumps because I'm surprised that I'm OK." 

He said bullying is not OK. 

"If you're getting bullied, let people know," he said. "A lot of people get bullied and they don't say anything about it. I've been bullied before and it just gets to the point where it's too bad."

Tricia MacNeil urges people to speak up when they witness someone being bullied. (George Mortimer/CBC)

His mother, Tricia MacNeil, is angry.

"To see your child being treated like that, to see what physically can happen to your child is something that every mother dreads.

"I have no words to say what I'm actually feeling at the moment other than very grateful that he's healthy. He's fine, there's nothing broken, he's doing well."

But she also said it's important that bullying be identified as a serious issue in the community.

"My advice is to teach your kids that it's not OK, that if they witness something or hear something they should help because we all have an obligation to each other to help each other." 

Some parents at the school have rented a mailbox and are asking people to send cards of support.

They'll present them to the youth when he returns to school.

Hopes to return to school soon

He said he looks forward to returning in a few days.

"I think I'll be happy to see everybody," he said. "I don't think there are many people who want to pick on me now and I'm not worried about anybody trying to retaliate on what happened to me, so I feel safer than I would normally."

The Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education has confirmed that students have been suspended at the school but will not say how many.

Cape Breton Regional Police are also investigating.

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About the Author

George Mortimer is a longtime reporter in Cape Breton.