Imagine a town where everyone tries to be perfect but no one succeeds. Imagine a girl who woke up extra early to look pretty but still got called ugly that day. Imagine a boy trying out for the sports team because that’s what everyone else is doing, and he tries his hardest but still gets bullied for not making it. A town called Greenwood, Arkansas has a perfect representation of this. I’ve lived in Greenwood my whole life and the one thing I’ve noticed growing up here is that our bullying is out of control. If I was mayor of my town, I’d try my hardest to fix this problem.
The bullying here undoubtedly occurs in school. You may be thinking that it’s the school’s responsibility to take care of bullying, and I agree with that, but when the school manages to let bullying slide every now and then, there’s a problem. Some may say that bullying is normal and that it’s just a part of growing up, but I don’t think it should be.
To fix this problem, I’d start by making the schools take more action into bullying. Yes, the school disciplines bullies, but they aren’t as bad of punishments as they should be. In my freshman year, I remember a time where I was bullied and I reported it, but they only gave the instigator punishment, not the four other people who joined along. His punishment consisted of only one day in lunch detention. Everyone gets detention, so that isn’t much of a punishment.
I think when a student reports a bully, the school should really think about the situation and think hard about how to handle it. As mayor, I’d let the school board know about the amount of bullying that occurs in their schools. I would make sure they apply harder punishments against the bullies. Depending on how bad the bullying was, I think it should go as far as expulsion, especially when the bullying has went on for a long time. Despite what I said previously, detentions can still be efficient, but I think that’ll only work on younger kids. When kids get into the high school age, detention isn’t going to be any punishment.
Besides making sure the school punishes the bullies harsher, I’d try to enforce the no bullying policy by having a speaker go and talk about the effects of bullying. I’m not sure if it’s a nationwide law, but here in Arkansas it’s illegal to bully. Does that mean everyone that bullies has gotten in trouble with the law? No. I’d try to get a police officer to come and talk to the students and let them know about the consequences if they bully someone.
My school doesn’t have the worst bullying, I know many other schools that have worse bullying and have even had students commit suicide. I think a third way I’d try to stop the bullying here is by having a fair type of event to remember those who have lost their lives due to the fact that they were bullied.
I think if we grow stronger as a community and show the effects of what happens when kids bully each other, we can make Greenwood and even the world a better place.