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Bullying: Behind the Scenes

To me bullying is no more than the expression of self insecurities. If you feel the need to make fun of others to distract from your own flaws, you have a problem. My school has a graduating class of about 40 students each year, yet almost 50% of our school has been a bully, been a part of a bullying situation, or have been a victim of a bullying situation. Most students don’t understand the severity of bullying, and neither do adults. Adults typically associate small acts of bullying to “typical kid behavior”. Picking on others verbally and physically would not be a regular kid behavior if it was stopped on the spot. Sure, toddlers like to hit each other, take toys from one another, and call names like “cheese head” or “chicken butt” , but when it gets to high school the hitting becomes cutting, punching, and shoving into lockers. The names will usually change into “s***” or “fag”. If you’ve never been bullied, you’re lucky. Inevitably, it happens to everyone.


The name calling, rumors, betraying, and “boyfriend stealing” are very common in girls. You might imagine it like the movies, the rich, skinny, popular cheerleader picking on the poor, nerd girl. You could make the comparison to one of my favorite movies, A Cinderella Story, featuring Hilary Duff. In the end of this movie though, the girl who was bullied relentlessly during her senior year, won in the end, becoming popular, getting the quarterback of the football team, and going to a great college. Too bad life isn’t like this, right? Reality is a lot less happy ending because according to surveys taken at a regular high school, they found 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, 1 in 6 teens had made plans, and over 1 out of every 12 teenagers actually do take their own life. The sad consequences of bullying can be suicide, statistics show that in the year 2005 two hundred seventy children (ages 11-14) committed suicide from being constantly tormented and abused. Although suicide is possibly the worst problem, bullying can also drive teenagers to make bad choices such as drugs, vandalism, school shootings, drinking, poor school work, and poor school attendance. Not to mention the rate of teen depression in America has rocketed due to bullying. About 20% of teens will experience depression at least once in the their lifetime, and 15% of those will develop bipolar disorder. Antisocialism and mental disorders are also problems that teenagers might be dealing with as a result of bullying.

Forms of bullying can be what you would expect, name calling, rumor spreading, lying, and beating students up. Sadly, it gets more complicated like this. Students form gangs and groups to gang up upon another student, the victim. Other times, students will threaten one another. What bullies who do this don’t know, is that it’s illegal! Terroristic threats are against the law, but most of the time, victims are too scared to stand up for themselves, especially if the bully threatens him/her more if they were tell. With more and more technology out there, students have their social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, MySpace, etc. They also have laptops, phones, picture/video messaging, and basically, a way to always be connected to the world. As this may be an advantage at times, it has opened up the world of bullying for a whole new form :cyber bullying. While there is no federal law against cyber bullying in the United States, many states have come up with laws to help stop it, but it still happens to teenagers all over the world.

Another aspect many might not consider when thinking about bullying is the connection with homosexuality. 86% of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) said they were harassed at school for their sexuality. Studies show that homosexual teenagers are more prone to bullying and suicide attempts/thoughts than their heterosexual classmates. Homosexual teens that are bullied, often start believing what the bullies tell them: “You’re worthless.” “Why don’t you just go die?” “Nobody would care if you left.” These words are harsh, yet said every day. Commercials have been created trying to stop “that’s so gay.” from being said but it’s not enough to stop it. Do you want the sad truth?

Nearly 60% of the students who were and are bullied, never report any of the incidents. This is where it gets scary. Over 30% of those who did report it, said that none of the staff or people they told did anything about it. This is our chance. Suicide is the leading cause of death among teenagers, and we need to change that. If you witness bullying among your classmates, friends, on in the halls at school, tell an adult. Keep telling adults until it gets fixed. Principals, parents, counselors, teachers, pastors, and trusted adults are the people to talk to. They have more power than a teenage bully. If it happens online, delete your account and stay out of it, suggest others to do the same. Bully victims, witnesses, and bullies themselves don’t realize that they are the problem, and they have the power to stop it. Get attention and save a teenagers life from the mistake impossible to learn from.





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