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A Serious Problem

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Picture this, you’re walking down the hallway at school and you see a kid, one that everyone makes fun of, getting picked on. The bully is a pretty popular kid that you are friends with. You know that what the bully is doing is wrong, but you don’t say anything. You don’t want to get picked on next, so you just keep on walking. The next day, you find out that kid committed suicide the night before. All you can do is blame yourself for not doing anything when you saw him being picked on. You know he was picked on long before that, but all you do is blame yourself. A friend, a son, a brother, and everything else that boy was, is gone. His family is devastated, his friends are in hysterics, and you can feel that sadness in the atmosphere. That boy is gone because some other kids were bored and decided to pick on him.

Bullying is a serious matter that should not just be pushed off to the side. The problem is most people don’t think anything of it. They just think that kids are too sensitive and should learn to “man-up”. Being bullied doesn’t mean you have to get hurt physically; you can be hurt mentally too. It’s terrible to think kids can make themselves feel good by making others feel like garbage. Statistics show that one in five teenagers have thought about suicide, one in six has planned their suicide, and one in twelve has attempted suicide.

Recently in the area I live in, four boys and girls have committed suicide because they were made fun of. Four great kids have lost their lives. I did not know any of those kids personally, but their deaths even impacted my life. If the deaths of four kids I didn’t even know could have an impact on my life, what do you think their deaths did to their families? I’ll admit, I have bullied kids in the past, but I never realized it until these events occurred. Just think about it, we’ve all bullied someone at least once in our lives. Maybe you just didn’t realize you were even doing it, but the other person did. The other person was hurt, maybe they didn’t show it, but they were hurt.

At some point everyone has been told to stick up for someone if you see them being picked on. It’s harder to do than it sounds. Although, you know it’s right. Just think if it was you being bullied, you’d want someone to stick up for you. It doesn’t just show the bully what he is doing is wrong, but it also makes the kid feel like someone is there for him, like he isn’t alone in the world.

There isn’t anything wrong with being nice to the kid who is a little different. There isn’t anything wrong with saying hi to the kid with Down syndrome. There isn’t anything wrong with asking the girl sitting alone at lunch to sit with you. Just like there isn’t a reason to bully any of those people.

The truth is you’re always going to judge people. There’s no stopping that, and it’s not your fault, it’s just human. But, it is your fault if you decide to use your opinions on people to bully them. Who knows, you could be totally wrong about a person. Get to know them. Talk to them, be friends with them, hang out with them. Or even just say a simple hello to someone. Maybe that girl who everyone calls easy, since she had a baby at fourteen, was raped. You would feel really bad about making fun of her then, wouldn’t you? That’s why we should not jump to conclusions.

There are simple things you can do to make bullying be realized as a serious matter. One thing my school did was organize an entire day where everyone was expected to be kind to each other. It was called “Be Nice Day”. Some of the activities we did were: writing a letter to a random person and saying nice things about them, passing out cookies and bracelets to all of the students, made posters about being kind, and reading facts and poems about bullying. The day was a success and almost everyone was nice to one another that day.

There are so many things you can do to make a difference. Use your imagination and please, don’t be afraid of being made fun of. I wasn’t made fun of at all after helping to organize that event. I just hope this article will impact at least a few people to make a difference. That difference could save a lot of lives. As Gandhi has said, be the change that you wish to see in the world.



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