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This year in my high school, our administrative staff began a new campaign to prevent against bullying. To spread the message of this new program, teachers were forced to display posters detailing a simple plan against bullying. Four steps are listed on the laminated posters, outlining a determined path for mitigating such abuse. However, I have started to mull over those four steps. Personally, it seems as though preventing bullying cannot occur in four steps. The issue is much more convoluted. The solution includes numerous steps and is slightly different for each situation. There is no one way of making the world more tolerable and humane. Yet, despite the bleakness of the situation, my school seemed to have the right idea. Discussing the issue on a consistent basis or even penetrating the problem at a younger age might alleviate the growing problem of bullying.
For most of my life, I had heard about bullying and I vaguely knew about its negative effects. However, I had never fully comprehended the severity of the issue until I was confronted with it. During middle school, there was news of one student who created a hit list. At first, I felt anger against him for attempting to threaten his peers. Later on, I witnessed a student I knew well harassing this other child. I realized that this person I knew was an instigator in causing such havoc in our school. He had made another student feel threatened in a place that was supposed to be a sanctuary. From that moment, I understood the severity and the implications of bullying. However, despite all the chaos that occurred around that time, no teacher or administrator spoke of prevention. It was as if this event was a fleeting wind and it was now a new season to focus upon. Looking back, I wonder at how our attentions span such short periods of time.
To me, if people want a situation to change, they must make it happen. At that time, maybe not enough realized how grave the issue was. Although our administrators recognize the effect of bullying now, it must start sooner. For some inexplicable reason, young children inflict harm upon each other. From elementary age, bullying can start. Therefore, students must be open to discuss the issue at such a young age and remember it throughout their youth. When I was in elementary school, no one spoke of bullying. It was as if it never existed. Yet, had teachers spoken about tolerance and explained the ramifications of bullying, maybe attitudes would have changed. Maybe if students always feel as if school is their sanctuary, they might confide in a teacher if they were bullied.
Mitigating bullying cannot be compacted into four steps. There is no one methodology or tool to use to create a more hospitable environment for youth. That is the unfortunate part of this situation; the solution is muddled, complex, and possibly nonexistent. However, many of us underestimate each other. Emphasizing tolerance and kindness, especially at a young age, could affect a person’s attitudes. Showing young people that they are remarkable creatures filled with compassion and understanding could create a more accepting world for them. If those around youth celebrated individuality, maybe the younger generation would honor those differences rather than destroy them. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” Beneath everything, people are all made up of the same core materials. Cells, blood, sickness, morality, sin, grief. Developing an understanding of people and educating youth might one day alleviate the tragic-ridden problem of bullying.





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