High School. When you think about those two words you might possibly think: John Hughes, cliques, rumors, and my personal favorite, bullying. High school is supposed to be a public area teens can go to and know they’ll always be protected from horrible things. The problem though is there are so many problems that go on and are never taken care of. For example: bullying. Bullying is one of the many problems going on that are not really recognized for their after effects. Adults simply push it aside hoping it will work its way out. One out of four students are bullied and forty-three percent have been bullied online on social networking sites like “Facebook”, “MySpace”, and “MyYearbook”. Bullying is at an all-time high and it keeps going unnoticed and affecting many teens across the country. What adults don’t realize is as many as 160,000 students stay home from school because they’re afraid of being bullied and every seven minutes a child is being bullied. Bullying can severely affect the victims for the rest of their lives if unheeded. This topic has gotten worse through the years. In 2009 only four percent of teens were bullied online and here in 2011 forty-three percent. Is this what the world is really coming to? Cyber bullying is illegal in many states, but here in Oklahoma the law was not passed in the year of 2011. The rules today are not enforced by the authority, who we’re supposed to see as a role model. How can we look up to someone when they will just simply ignore what is right in front of them? Sure they tell us bullying is wrong, but when it comes to punishing the bully there’s really nothing they can do. They don’t own up to their word. They also tell us at a young age to stand up for ourselves, but nowadays when we do; the victims get it trouble too. We can’t just let the bullies keep hurting us, so we stand up for ourselves and get punished in the process. Rumors are also another big problem in school that can lead to bullying or are a result to bullying. Sure some people may not see rumors as that big of a deal, but just like bullying they can destroy someone’s reputation and life at and after school. Rumors spread like wildfire and what happens to the ones causing it? They don’t get in trouble. See that’s the thing, bullying you can prevent, but you can never disprove a rumor after it’s already taken place. Bullying can be stopped, but only if everyone tries. So what is it that we can do? Well students today are lucky if anyone will help them. That’s the thing school officials don’t realize, just how bad the bullying can get. Why is that? Because as students we can’t go to anyone for help, because guys will be told to “be a man” and the girls will just be causing the drama to increase dramatically. It’s a double-edged sword wouldn’t you say? Another thing it does is cause a decrease in self-esteem. Bullying hurts and it continues to hurt until you decide when you’ve had enough. What can we do to somewhat help this situation? Well for one there are many organizations that help with bullying and cliques. They help bring people out of their shells and bring a school together. Challenge Day is one example. They help you understand people in ways you never thought you would. Prove that many people could be facing the same difficulties you’re dealing with on a regular daily basis. Another thing you can do is notice when bullying is taking place whether it’s standing up for someone or notifying an adult. There is always something you can do. Bullying is a very serious problem that will only grow worse if not stopped. Don’t ignore the issue that is taking control of lives that you could be a part of. Make a difference and take control before you have no control of it all. It’s not too late to take a stand and beat what too many are afraid to confront. In order to make the change, you need to be the change.
November 9, 2011