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Before They Self Destruct

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When Melinda* was in elementary school, her fellow classmates would constantly tease her about how chubby her cheeks were. The torment and ridicule she endured lasted for quite a while, and the pain she experienced, she will never forget. Dismissal time, the bells ringing loudly, the teachers directing the students out of the classrooms, the din of the students in the schoolyard, the students she was always afraid of. That’s right, how could she forget? These were her own classmates. The ones she shared a classroom with for six to seven hours each day. The classroom that was supposed to be her second home, filled with her peers meant to be her new family. But that’s not how it went. She would try to avoid them but she couldn’t.

Melinda remembers them taunting her, calling her “Butt-cheeks” and laughing at her. Their mouths open displaying the arrogant grins on their faces as they encircled her. Sure, this may not sound so bad to you, but it hurt more than anything. She would come home crying, not wanting to go to school the next day. She didn’t want to face those mean kids again. Why did they keep teasing her? What had she ever done to them? This is what many victims of bullying ask themselves.

In Melinda’s case, her mother would comfort her; telling her “Crying wouldn’t do any good” and “Just ignore them and you’ll be fine” she would say, but Melinda tried doing that, but things didn’t change. It takes more than kind words to make a difference not only in the victims but also the bullies.

This is why bullying is a problem that needs to be targeted early. If it can be eliminated at a young age, then maybe its development can be prevented. There are many forms of bullying and teachers need to be on the lookout for them all, verbal and physical.

The best solution to bullying is to NOT be afraid to speak up. Have the kids address the problem with a family member, a teacher, or anyone they can trust. . Don’t hold in it because one day, you might self destruct causing yourself more damage than your bully could ever inflict.
Once they speak to someone, make sure, if you are that someone, that you help them with the situation and make life easier for them. Also, when the victim is being bullied, the victim shouldn’t make the case worse by coming back at them with insults or in a physical way because it’s going to make the situation worse. If you’re a bystander and you’re witnessing someone getting bullied, take action and STOP it.
Victims also have their own individual part; Victims shouldn’t let the bully identify who they are. Victims should have the confident to know how much they are worth and not let anyone bring the down. Once the victim has that appreciation of themselves, they won’t let others affect them.





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