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Chain Reaction

What is bullying? Intimidating and mistreating someone. Making them feel vulnerable, useless and, in the end, just not worth it. I’ve never been bullied but I’ve defiantly witnessed it. An example is sitting in class while a group of girls gossip about another person—yes, I do consider that bullying. Let’s not forget the snide comments teenagers can have when someone walks by in the halls. “Who does he think he is?”Or when someone is talking. “Can you just shut up?” There’s an endless list of vulgar names I’ve heard come out of other student’s mouths; most of the time it’s just one of those side, nobody-will-hear-me, comments. Trust me, you are heard.

Sometimes the victim of the name calling won’t even know its happening. It’s still considered bullying because you tell your friend, “That girl is a –.” Now there are two potential bullies in this situation. How many of you have hated a person just because your friend didn’t like them? I know I have. Now there are two friends that both dislike a person. Slowly the number starts to multiply as you too start saying, “That girl is a –.” Now the victim becomes isolated from everyone as more and more people begin to talk about them behind their back—see how it works? A chain reaction.

I’m sure when you hear the word bully you may think of the stereotypical push, shove, or maybe punch. But I personally have never seen that. The most common type of bullying I can think of is often overlooked—gossip. It spreads like wildfire.

Try to image having a group of people talk about you; maybe they’re saying you’re cocky, ignorant, stupid or fat. At first you don’t care because it’s just a small group of people; they don’t even know you. Then the number multiples as more mouths begin to talk about you. Now they’re saying obscene things and people begin to treat and look at you differently. You’ve become isolated—the victim. You never had anyone tell you these things to your face, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are being bullied. People are still talking about you.

Remember that if you ever hear gossip it is most likely not true. I’m sure most of you have played the game telephone—whispering a phrase from one person to the next, by the end it’s a different phrase. That’s gossip; always changing.

Words can be one of the most powerful things in the world, but once you say something you can never take it back.



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