Bullying: Where do the jokes end and the hate begin? | Teen Ink

Bullying: Where do the jokes end and the hate begin?

December 4, 2012
By AlexAvery PLATINUM, Tecumseh, Other
AlexAvery PLATINUM, Tecumseh, Other
23 articles 2 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is but a dream that shall be written by the dreamers"

Imagine you’re in the hallway at school. Two students are bullying another student. What should you do? There are only two options: stand by or stand up. This situation happens more often than not, and usually the decision is made to stand by and watch. Whether you know what you should do or not, it is true that most students do not take action. For this reason I believe that students who feel they have the right to torture a fellow student should also have the right to be punished accordingly. And for those students that are bullied, they should have the right to be heard. All of this is possible if you stand up for those who cannot.

The school environment is meant to be a place of safety where students have the right to learn efficiently. At present, our schools have become nothing more than a hunting ground for bullies who can find anything that isn’t “perfect” about someone. All students should be able to come to school not fearing being mentally or physically tormented by one or a group of students. This interferes with the student’s learning environment, distracting them from their teachers or classwork when all they can think about is what might happen to them at lunch. It is the right of all students to be able to learn efficiently without worrying about their aggressor’s plans to torture them after school. Also, bullying can disrupt a student’s home life. Students who are cyber bullied not only have to face their tormentors at school, but also online in their own homes. This interferes with the student’s homework completion, and can lead to a student’s taking action in the only way they feel they can, such as self-harm or even suicide. This is why we should work towards improving our school’s environment and stop bullies before it gets that far.

In today’s society social media and television have sometimes glorified picking on other students because of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. This has resulted in bullies believing they have the right to degrade peers for such things. Therefore they should not be given the power to control another student’s life based on fear and threats. If a bully is caught antagonizing one of their peers, they should be punished accordingly to the level of grief they have caused their victim. For example, if a bully calls someone by a sexist or racist slur, a detention or series of detentions should be served. In the worst case, such as persistent verbal or physical bullying that can lead to a student’s taking their own life, the school should contact the local police and have them deal with the matter. If ever there is a time when you or someone else sees or hears someone speak of a student being bullied, appropriate action must be taken. No form of bullying should go unpunished, no matter how small it may seem. If you witness someone being bullied, report it to a person of authority at your school such as a teacher or principal. The same goes for if you hear someone speaking about a peer being bullied. If a bully sees peers watching or spreading rumors about their bullying, it will only empower them to do it again. Don’t let them have such power. Report any signs of bullying to an authority figure.

A student who is being bullied at school or at home should not fear being bullied to a worse extent for “telling” on their aggressor. The majority of bullied students do not inform anyone they are being bullied because they are afraid of being tortured for doing so. No student should have to feel unsafe about reporting their problems with a bully. It should be known to all bullied students that regardless of what your tormentor may suggest, if you tell someone about the bully, that person will be responsible for ensuring that you are no longer afflicted by them. Getting help for the situation is the best way to rid of the bully and no longer think of school as an unsafe place. The same goes for students who witness a peer being bullied. If you see someone being picked on by another student it is your duty to report the action to a teacher or principal. Together we can stop bullies before they strike again.

These steps are the first in silencing bullies once and for all. Students who bully other students should be punished more harshly based on the level of pain they have caused their victim. It is your right to let someone know if you or someone else is being bullied. The bullied should be heard, the bullies will be silenced. We can make this change and together work towards a bully-free future in which no one will ever have to fear the face of another tormentor again. This is all possible if you just stand up; don’t stand by.

The author's comments:
I wrote this piece as a persuasive essay for school, but it is a topic I have wanted to write about for a long time.

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