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I remember the day like it was yesterday. I can even remember what I was wearing – a black button-up shirt and my favorite pair of jeans. In sixth grade, my science class was full of thirty of the funniest people I knew, which is why it was my favorite class despite my vexation with the subject. Our teacher scheduled a test for the next day, so we were playing a review game. Every student would have the opportunity to answer a question. Because of our class size, our teacher assigned us seats in alphabetical order. Unfortunately, my last name began with an “S” so I was always one of the last to go for everything.

Finally, it was my turn. I was still giggling from a comment another student made, and I stood up to walk to the white board. All of the sudden, I heard boos coming from my peers. Something hit me in the cheek – it was a crumpled scrap of paper. More of these flew across the room at me and I stood astonished in the front of the class. Before I knew it, our teacher was scolding us all for getting out of hand and she stopped the game. Naturally, this provoked more boos and “you suck’s” from the kids. I sat down at my desk and took out my textbook, as we were instructed to reread the chapter instead of playing the game. I had no idea what I had done wrong. I pulled my hair in front of my face so no one could see my watery eyes. From the left, someone threw their sneaker at me and knocked my book to the floor. I watched it smack the ground, along with my self-esteem and happiness.

That was three years ago, yet events like this still happen to kids. Bullying is defined as an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Twenty percent of students are scared throughout much of the school day and thirty percent of all child suicides can be directly related to bullying. This is primarily due to the lack of a national policy in this area, leaving all decisions to be made by the schools. Forty percent of bullied students in elementary and sixty percent of bullied students in middle school report that teachers intervene in bullying incidents “once in a while” or “almost never.” These statistics are scary and ridiculously high, but can be prevented.

Bullying and harassment are prevailing problems seen every day throughout schools across the nation; unfortunately, they are ever growing and continually deteriorate the confidence of the students who experience them. Political actions have been taken and organizations such as Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation have been created in an attempt to empower victims and put and end to these horrible acts of degradation. Whether they are the victim, the bystander, or the bully, harassment in schools is the most dangerous activity a child can be exposed to. Don't become a statistic -- put an end to bullying.





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