Psst ... Have you Heard?by Megan Sosne, Hampstead, NCIs violence a problem in schools today? In my opinion, it is to a very severe degree. In my school, even though there is an absence of guns, knives and daily fights, we do have a weapon that I'm sure every school tries to conceal: rumors. They infest our classrooms, occupy the bathrooms, are written on lockers, float up and down the hallways and are what we base our everyday conversations on at lunch, break and after school. We would probably be notorious for our rumors if the source were known, but no one really knows where they come from. Some are spurred by small bits of truth and others are completely false.While they don't inflict direct physical pain, the emotional effects are the source of many tears shed. Around every corner, one can hear, "You'll never guess what I just heard ...," "Hey, someone just told me that ...," "Did you hear about ..." or "Is it true that ..." The viciousness of it all is truly amazing. It accompanies the insignificant and irrelevant events that occur in a small town and how they have to be distorted to be made interesting enough to talk about.Every school has its own method of dealing with violence, but what can you do about the elusive person who fabricates a small story and tells one or two people with the outcome being the dissection of the event by the whole school? Everyone seems to have heard it from somebody else - even the person who started it. At my school, we have realized and accepted the fact that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words are almost always exaggerated. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.