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Bullying Can Be Stopped! Or Can It?

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Bullying still very much exists, although it is not as much like the bullying that occurred decades ago. Usually, people think of bullying more as a physical thing, but this might just be my imagination, after all. What some people don’t realize, is that although words don’t cause physical pain, doesn’t mean it’s okay to insult someone every chance you get. Words can hurt too, in terms of feelings. If you haven’t noticed it yet, bullying often makes the victim depressed. In fact, according to stopbullying.gov, 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s involved people with a history of childhood bullying.

Now, bullying can happen to anyone. Let’s start with the people involved with bullying. First, there’s the bully. He/She can be in this social status for a few reasons: They feel that they have social power, they’re overly concerned about their popularity, they feel depressed or anxious, often from their home life, or they think badly of themselves and others. Along with this, there’s also the one who is being bullied. The, well, let’s call him/her the victim. There are reasons for this status as well: Feelings of sadness or loneliness, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, appearance and hygiene, or decreased academic achievement.

There’s also that third person, but there are often many. The bystander(s). They’re the ones who stand there and watch you get bullied by their… Well… Leader, who is the bully himself. The general reason for these people to act this way is because of peer pressure and protection of their reputation. After all, they don’t want to be the ones getting bullied.

Now, you may be asking, why are you arguing? What’s the, per say, “other side”? Well, one thing people say, is that you (generally) are being too sensitive. This can happen when a teacher yells at you or someone say something that really makes you feel bad. There are a whole lot of times when I’m in class and get a question wrong, and sometimes people make fun of me for it. I’m not saying this is bullying, as it doesn’t happen often, but it still makes me depressed for the rest of the class time, and even later into the day.

But hold on, that isn’t all there is. People on the ‘other side’, or the bullies, say “just kidding” in defense of their reputation, meanwhile they can go and chat with their friends about how they insulted so-and-so. Sometimes it’s truthful when they say this, but you can tell by the tone in their insult whether or not they were ‘kidding’ or not. Let’s put it this way: If they are a close friend, they probably don’t mean it, and if they’re someone you know to be mean, they probably do.

Yet another thing: “Kids will be kids” or “boys will be boys”. Some adults witness bullying and don’t take action, as they think it’s just a playful affair. This happened to me last year in Spanish class, my feelings were completely thrashed by all the others at my table, and there wasn’t much I could do. I insulted them back at one point, but of course that backfired as someone tattled on me. Now isn’t that great? Sometime later my parents tried to help with this, and suggested comebacks. The comebacks parents suggest are often not very helpful, as there is one key element that is ignored: If they insult you bad enough and you come back with a sort-of “brush-off” statement, they’ll proceed to insult you even more. Believe me, they’ll find ways to insult the phrase you had just said. There’s where we have a problem: It definitely isn’t good to drop to their level, of course, but where’s the alternative?

Adults are trying to help with bullying, but they don’t understand it has taken a new level. If a kid gets an adult to deal with the bully, the bully says that they’re sorry, but then what? They go to the victim and make fun of them for getting an adult to solve their problems. Sorry if this is insulting to you, adults, but great lesson. Some adults kind of understand, and they decide to suggest comebacks themselves, as I mentioned before. These things are often done publicly, or are just outright stupid. There have been anti-bullying presentations at my school about using ‘nice’ comebacks to settle the bullying situation. Comebacks like “that’s your opinion”, or “you can think that”, are NOT HELPFUL. If done publicly, when someone uses the comeback, the bully just mocks the victim because he knows where he/she got it from, and it’s kind of… Well, lame. In my opinion, the best way to help would be to insult the bully in a way they won’t understand that they’re being insulted, but others will. That way, they won’t know what’s happening and won’t know what to get mad about. The only thing is, I haven’t seen this happen without the bully calling the victim a nerd for using ‘big words’ which would often be used to achieve this procedure.

Part of the reason for being bullied is how people judge you. No, not courtroom judging, more by your actions. For example, there have been past incidents where you (again, general) have to form partnerships for class work. There have been times when I don’t want to work with certain people, but I do so to be nice. You might be saying: “Oh, that isn’t bad”, but in a way it is. The people around you see that you are acquainted with that certain person, and think you to be just as annoying and weird as they are. But they don’t know you, or your reason for making that partnership. You should try to be nice to everyone, not just your friends. Judging is part of bullying, because ‘if you aren’t good at sports you aren’t good at anything’. What I don’t like, though, is when people actually show they’re good at something, and their otherwise enemies all of the sudden want to be their friend. Try to detect this tomfoolery… Did I really just say that?

Here’s another problem: parties. Why? Well, I for one sometimes don’t like parties. There are often a lot of people there, often some that will gang up on you and bash around your feelings. I was at a birthday party once during which everyone camped out in a tent, and this one kid was making fun of me. Everything about me he could find. This was hurtful enough, but there was something more. My close friends didn’t lift a finger to stand up for me, they just laughed with the others. Go get an adult? Too bad, I’m in a forest alone with these jerks. I hated that party.

There is also the element of the invitation. It’s often the people concerned about their popularity that give out their invitations in school, and why? I don’t have much real evidence, but I believe it is to make those uninvited feel bad. There was recently an invitation giveaway for a party that I was not invited to, and let me tell you, when the people were talking about it, it really did sound like a scam. Like it had been rehearsed many times, although my bet is that it wasn’t. Issue with the apparent setup, is I didn’t give a wet sock to go to that party. That’s right. A wet sock.

Now what’s the point of all this? Well, let’s just say that by the way things are going I don’t think bullying will ever be stopped. Although people may think it can be if people learn how to deal with it, there will always be that jock that thinks he’s so cool. So think on this for a minute… Are you a bully? Is your friend a bully? Is your friend being bullied? If so, STICK UP FOR THEM. It’s a whole other world of hurt when your friend betrays you. So take a stand, not for yourself, but for everyone.

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