Bullying: Words and Actions Can Kill
A scrawny boy stands in a school hallway, feeling torn apart and alone as ever. The boy’s bruised arms and legs tremble, but the cruel giant runs away. The giant is wickedly laughing at his success of making the boy feel small, weak and vulnerable.
This boy is part of the 25% of children who are bullied on a regular basis at school (The Department of Education, CBS News). This percentage is even steadily increasing over time and as technology is made better. Is your child a part of this growing percentage? If parents and school teachers everywhere would teach children that bullying is an unacceptable act, they would be limiting suicidal thoughts in kids and teenagers and taking a huge burden off the shoulders of millions of children online and in school. Many bullying episodes that have made the news in the past couple of years have ended in a tragic suicide. The most famous episode was that of fifteen year old Phoebe Prince from Massachusetts. Phoebe dated a popular senior football player during her freshman year of high school.
Because of this, she was tormented by what she said seemed like the whole school. It came to the point where Phoebe could not take it anymore. She returned from school one day and hung herself in the stairwell of her home (Helen Kennedy, Daily News). Phoebe is not the only kid who has committed suicide over bullying. Research has shown that victims of bullying are 5.6 times more at risk of attempting or even thinking about suicide (Young-Shin Kim, CBS News).
It is amazing what a cruel act every day, week after week, and month after month can do to someone’s self-esteem and attitude. It takes only a simple act of cruelty every day to lead someone to such a drastic decision to end their own life. Children should be proud of themselves and their lives, but bullies are making it hard to. If we had more teachers and parents talking to bullies about what their unkind words or actions can lead a person to, more children would be alive and happy today. Bullying is not something that is uncommon or just happens every once and awhile. The numbers of kids that have been bullied or have bullied someone else is rapidly increasing over time.
Even kids as young as nine years old are starting to bully or are being bullied by their peers. Whatever happened to the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all?” According to An American Justice Department’s research, 160,000 kids skip school each day because they are scared of being bullied. Since more and more kids are being bullies, more and more kids are the victims of bullying, and bullying is just not acceptable. You, as parents and teachers of these children could help to decrease that number by spreading the word about ending bullying You would think that the most bullying goes on during school hours. However, this is not the case nowadays with the technology we have.
As bold and courageous as bullies seem, most kids and teenagers do not have the courage to say certain things to someone’s face, so they say it online. Ann Frisen, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg says this about what is called cyberbullying, “This type of bullying can be more serious than conventional bullying. At least with conventional bullying the victim is left alone on evenings and weekends”. This is true! Millions of children and teenagers everywhere are victims of cyberbullying on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and more. Social networking sites are great for communicating with friends and family, but they are not the places for unkind words. Parents should monitor their children on social networking sites to be sure that they are not being a cyberbully, or a victim of cyberbullying. The fact of the matter is, bullying should be put to an end. Every child deserves to feel safe and protected in their own school and everywhere else.
I encourage teachers and parents all over to stand up and put an end to the vicious comments, hurtful status updates and cruel actions. The average bully is insecure themselves, how would they benefit by making someone else feel the same way?