All students need to feel safe at Loyalton High
By Angelina Folchi
Bullying has become more common in public schools year by year. It has also become more accepted by teens, although it shouldn’t be. Kids are starting to feel that being bullied is a normal part of growing up, but they should realize that it isn’t.
According to the booklet titled “Take Action… Against Bullying” by Premier, a bully is defined as a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker, and bullying is meant to put people down and make them feel insignificant. There are three things that all forms of bullying have in common. First, there is always a power distinction. The bully is bigger, older or more popular and therefore thinks he or she has a right to pick on others. Bullying is also hurtful on purpose. Bullies are always deliberately mean, and if it isn’t deliberate, it’s not bullying. Finally, bullying is repetitive. It’s something that happens over and over again. If a student accidentally says something that hurts a friend and then never does it again, it isn’t a case of bullying. The action has to be intended and recurring.
The four main types of bullying are physical bullying, verbal bullying, social bullying and cyber bullying, with verbal bullying as the most frequent. Physical bullying is common among boys, because they tend to hit and shove each other when they don’t get along rather than exclude each other. Girls tend to bully each other verbally and socially, because those are the more discreet ways to make fun of and avoid others. Cyber bullying, the use of technology to threaten or harass someone, is happening more often, because it’s now easier to anonymously leave hurtful comments or post cruel pictures.
Bullies usually have a few things in common. They may be picking on others, because they were bullied themselves at home, or maybe they’re acting mean so they won’t be made fun of. Bullying others makes some feel powerful, feel in control and feel good about themselves. But there’s no good reason for bullying, even if this is the bully has had problems throughout his or her life.
Being a bully’s target can affect someone’s whole way of life. It might make a person unable to concentrate in class, unable to sleep, have low self-esteem, feel depressed, or think about hurting themselves or others. Instead of letting this happen, bullied kids need to focus on what they like about themselves. Differences are nothing to be ashamed of, and there’s always more than one benefit to varying from the rest of the world.
Everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable in his or her school without being tormented. If people feel they’re being made fun of on a regular basis, they should talk to a close friend or adult that they trust. To prevent it from happening any more, great strategies are to stay with friends as much as possible to have support, and to speak out and to stand up for themselves if it feels right.