If You're Not There for Someone, Who Is?

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“If you are not being bullied all I would say - cause I like to talk about the other side of it as well - is you know, be someone that nurtures, and if there's someone in your class that maybe doesn't have a lot of friends, be the person that sits with them in the cafeteria sometimes; be the bigger person.” (Lady Gaga) Lady Gaga's main point in this quote is to be the friend that you wish was there for you. Not everyone has someone to fall back on, which is sometimes fatal. Society today demands social normality. People who don't “follow the norm” are criticized for being themselves every day. Together, society has the power to change this, but people have to band together and fight.

According to BullyingStatistics.org, about 56 percent of all students have witnesses a bullying crime take place while at school. As a high school student, I see people being ridiculed and teased every day. What's even more sickening is to see someone just watch it happen and not take action. If you're not there for someone, who is? In some cases, no one is, which leads to fatalities. In the last three decades, suicide rates among 10-14 year olds have grown more than 50 percent (The American Association of Suicidology, AAS). This shocking statistic has led professionals to coin a new term – bullycide – to help explain this situation.

BullyingStatistics.org says, “Bullycide is a hybrid of bullying and suicide to explain when someone takes their life as a result of being bullied.” The same site also argues that a main cause of bullycide is “when the victim of bullying has no other friends to rely on for support or encouragement while being bullied regularly.” This leads back to the same point made earlier in this essay: if you're not there for someone, who is?

Another main cause of bullycide is cyberbullying. BullyingStatistics.org says that, “Cyberbullying occurs when teens use communication technology to say hurtful, embarrassing, or threatening things about another teen.“ In an age of social media takeover, cyberbullying is a quick alternative to traditional bullying because it can be done by the ease of computer or cell phone. Also, cyberbullying can be done on the go, instead of just at school or various activities that require both parties to be face-to-face. Cyberbullying is often disregarded because children feel that text messages can't be bullying. It is, in fact, bullying. Cyberbullying is also often done incognito with all the various technology available today. About 1 in 3 teens has been the victim of cyberbullying (BullyingStatistics.org).

Today, in the age of change, it's a shame to see so many children reprimanded daily for being who they are. Bullying is not something that is a “normal” part of childhood and must be stopped.





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