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Stop This Preventable Problem

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Everyday we hear of stories on the news about bullying. I took an informal poll and found that 70% of my 8th grade Butler class have been victims of bullying. This important topic just got personal.
It could be a statement as simple as “You’re fat” or “You’re ugly” that are leading some kids over the edge. It may seem like a joke or funny, but put yourself in the other person’s shoes, how would you feel? Everyone has a basic human need to feel good about him or herself without being put down.
Bullying can be complex or simple; it can be intentional or unintentional. You may think nothing serious, like death, would ever happen to someone in Scarsdale, but in the neighboring town of New Rochelle a teenage girl took her own life from bullying. In today’s society we overlook a 100% preventable problem that poses dangers to not only to the physical health of a child, but the mental health as well.
The first type of bullying is one that has significantly increased among the years, cyber-bullying. In the last year alone, around 1 million children were harassed or threatened through Facebook. The rise in cyber-bullying may be due to its anonymity because 80% of teens said it was easier to get away with online. Chat rooms, social networking cites and instant messaging make it easy to bully another person and is so easily accessible. An astonishing 75% of students have visited a website bashing another student. It’s easy to say something over the internet but one should never say anything that they wouldn’t say to the person’s face, or even, want said to his/her own face.
Another type of bullying that is common is indirect bullying. We’ve all done it whether it was commenting on what someone was wearing, gossiping or spreading interesting rumors we heard. Millions of self-esteems are being ripped apart because of hurtful words or comments. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can surely kill.
Ultimately, my goal today is to communicate to you that serious outcomes occur from bullying, but it is ALSO the little things that you and I say or do that could lead some children to feel dissatisfied and depressed about who they are. So remember, calling someone fat won’t make you any skinnier, telling somebody he or she is stupid won’t make you any smarter and leading somebody to feel badly about himself or herself won’t make you feel any better. The problem is real. I plead that you will stand up today and show empathy instead of hatred; that you will be the difference because it starts with one and builds up. You and I can make a change and cut down on bullying at SMS. If you see bullying or any teenage cruelty, stand up for the target or tell a teacher. All it takes is one person to stand up and speak out for someone. Why risk the consequences otherwise?





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