by Jonathan Trudel
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May 8, 2013
[via Google translate]
Photo : © Mathieu Rivard
In an exclusive interview to News, Ghyslain Raza breaks the silence, 10 years after the launch of the video that would make him the first victim of cyberbullying globally.
"Bullying, it survives," says me with aplomb Ghyslain Raza.
Coming from one of the most famous victims of cyberbullying on the globe, the statement carries weight.
For hundreds of millions of users around the world, the young man sitting in front of me, in a century-old brick Old Trois -Rivières, is none other than Star Wars Kid.
"The" Star Wars Kid.
The same one who, at the age of 14, was filmed in a studio in his high school, St. Joseph's Seminary, clumsily imitating a character from the Star Wars saga with a golf ball catcher. And that the video is found, unwittingly Web a few months later. That was 10 years ago, in spring 2003. Classmates Raza accidentally discovered the VHS tape, row on a shelf. Fun, they scan the video, which is then published online. It spreads like a virus in the computers of the world (more than a billion viewings to date).
Bullied at school and on the Web, Ghyslain Raza had to leave school. Despite an avalanche of requests from media around the world, he then immured in silence. Until today.
Shaken by the recent cases of bullying, some of which have led to suicides, he said that his story could perhaps help young victims to hold out during the storm. After all, even if it felt like walking through a minefield, even if users have requested to remove the life he now exchange places with anyone.
"If I were given the opportunity to change the past, do I accept ? Not. I'm glad that I am, and I would not take the risk of change, "he said.
Obviously, if it was announced that he would relive the same events in the morning, he did not take the news with "joy and happiness."
"No one in the world wants son to come home, saying, 'Mom, Dad, do you know what is happening to me? The whole world laughs at me,'" he says.
Ten years later, Ghyslain Raza turned the page. Law degree from McGill University, he will begin in the fall of a control on the history of Quebec law.
At peace with himself, he agreed to speak publicly for the first time that he lived in the hope of helping other young people to hold on. "We must learn to overcome the obstacle and keep moving forward. It may be an inch, but the important thing is to move forward. "
It also encourages victims of bullying to overcome their shame and seek help. "I was not Mr. Popular in school, I did not have 350 friends, and in the vortex, I lost sight of those I had. There was only my parents and lawyers around me. But their presence was essential to survive the hurricane."
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE
The news has agreed, at the request of Ghyslain Raza, not broadcast excerpts or images from the original video. This now widely available on the Web, was originally scheduled to remain private.