Rated ‘T’ for teens: Digging deeper into bullying
With school just around the corner, I figured it’d be appropriate to write about it. I won’t write about the dress before the first day though. This isn’t simply about needing new clothes and supplies, or losing pencils like crazy. This is about the things that happen inside of every school. The one thing we try to stop but it never works. That would be bullying.
Bullying is a form of abuse that usually happens in schools. Although this kind of abuse can happen in other areas, I’m just focusing on what happens within schools. Bullying can be mental, physical, emotional, or neglectful. It’s happened to almost all of us, but sometimes it can go too far.
Mental and emotional bullying can happen both in school, and out of school online. It’s known as cyber-bullying. 1 in 4 kids have been affected by cyberbullying, and 1 in 3 kids have been affected by emotion/mental abuse in schools. It may seem like harmless banter to the ones bullying, but it can cause several mental illnesses. Depression, anxiety, low self esteem, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts are problems that come along with bullying.
Physical bullying occurs in most schools. It can be a fight between people in a school, or it can be a student tormenting another student physically. Although being physically abused doesn’t cause as many mental disorders as mental/emotional abuse does, it can cause other things. Most children who have been physically bullied are afraid to come to school, which can cause anxiety.
Neglectful bullying is one that isn’t spoken about a lot, but it is common in schools. Neglectfulness is ignoring a person or their needs blatantly and purposefully. Students trying to make friends are often turned down because of how they look or are. There’s also being left out of activities because they simply don’t think the person is ‘good enough’ to join.
Schools try to solve bullying. They create rules, have assembly, individually talk to students, but it never really works. As a student, I’ve seen kids joke about it after the assemblies. I’ve seen them pretend to bully eachother, and then make idiotic comments. I’ve also seen them make fun of the outcomes of bullying. Such as imitating someone who has committed suicide over bullying, or developing an eating disorder.
I’ve experienced bullying before, as every kid has. I’ve seen people develop disorders from being bullied continuously. Schools, faculty, and staff do try their best to stop bullying, but I don’t think it can really be completely stopped. Hear me out, I want bullying to stop. It’s unjust and I wish we could all get along, but there’s always going to be a kid who thinks it’s funny. There’s always going to be two kids causing drama with each other. It’s not going to stop.
That being said, I believe we should take a different action with the bullies. I understand that they’ve done wrong, and there’s no excuses, but most bullies have been bullied. They’ve either been put down at school in previous years, or they’re abused at home. I think we should start digging deeper with the kids who are doing the bullying. I’m not saying they’re the victims, but they have something in their life that’s causing them to think bullying is okay, or normal. Bullying needs to stop, but we need to dig deeper than we already are.
Taylor Shaffer is a 10th grade student at Central Mountain High School. She has a passion for writing and presents a weekly column on Tuesdays in The Express.