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Nicholas Kristof’s Contest on Bullying

By , Oyster Bay, NY
When bullying entered my life, it felt unreal. I never imagined someone tormenting me for absolute no reason. None at all. Right now I am fourteen years old, I am in ninth grade and I decided to try out for cheerleading. I made it and was proud that I did. By the second season, I joined again. Only this time so did more people. One particular person and I weren’t friends. We didn’t fight, or talk. I just didn’t know them. During practice though I would watch M.M. stare at me as I learned a new cheer. If I messed up even once they would clearly role their eyes at me. I just shrugged it off. As time went by one of my friends on the team asked me, that if someone were talking about me (negatively) would I want to know? Maybe it was wrong of me to say yes, but why would someone talk about me? I am not a mean or obnoxious person But then she told me. M.M. , was talking about how much they hated me. M.M. didn’t know why they hated me, they simply claimed I was annoying and they couldn’t stand me. I knew that what M.M. said probably led to more talking and that’s when it really started to eat at me. I acted like nothing had happened at practice, even when M.M. would yell at me for messing up. I went home after and broke down. What they said really shouldn’t have hurt me, but it did. I hated myself, I must be hate worthy if my sheer existence, made someone cringe at the sight of me. I cried and that made my mom cry, which caused her to get mad. She made me go to the guidance counselor, I did and I told him the story. After that M M, somewhat stopped, but still gives me little jabs. But now I know, after talking about the issue, that I am stronger than that person and it doesn’t affect me anymore.

When trying to stop bullying, I don’t feel that it is always affective when a teacher/parent/or guardian tells a bully that they should stop. The reason I feel it is not affective is because the bully feels, oh it’s an adult they are supposed to tell us not to bully. I feel that the most affective way, is for a peer (someone his age or like two years older), tells him to stop. I have witnessed a freshman, picking on another freshman and a senior tells them to stop, they immediately stop. I don’t know why maybe because if a senior (someone who is close to their age and they look up to) tells them to stop, it must be a good idea to stop. When it is coming from someone that you hang out with and consider a friend, you know what you are doing is wrong, if even your own friends get involved. It is almost like a reality slap. That is when a bully truly knows when to stop. Maybe because they feel that they might loose their friends. Bullies friends will always affect them, because they don’t want to get bullied. Friends and older people they go to school with have the strongest impact (in my opinion) on the bullies.



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