Bullying is a very big problem. Students suffer from bullying very often, and even though people try and pass it off as nothing but ‘children playing’ or ‘a phase’, it can have negative effects on lifelong development.
Teenagers are often hit the worst by bullying, as teenhood is the most volatile period in a person’s life. Due to changes in appearances and brain chemistry, personalities tend to be more erratic. Based on your appearance, you can either be flung to the top of the food chain or become the designated punching bag for everyone else.
A real problem with bullying is that no one seems to take it seriously, despite it being one of the worst causes of suicides. Research from stopbullying.gov’s facts page indicates that bullying can lead to depression, isolation, and anxiety, all of which are known to lead to suicidal behavior.
And even then, bullying can lead to horrible consequences outside of suicide. Lifelong depression and paranoia, trauma, and thousands of other mental issues can result from bullying. It isn’t just ‘part of being a kid’ or ‘a game.’ Bullying is a real danger to a person’s development, and in some cases, their life.
One anonymous student recalls seeing bullying in action, and describes the victim as “…crying, upset, embarrassed, distressed and scared.”
Current research by the Megan Meier Foundation has suggested that the number of youth thinking of ways to commit suicide and considering actually doing it have nearly doubled since 2008 and 16.9 percent of youth indicated that they had committed acts of self harm.
One effective way that students could contribute to ending bullying is if they actually stood up to bullies. Statistics show that when bystanders intervene, 57 percent of the time the bullying stops.
Teachers can also be involved in ending bullying, as well. Students researched have said that the best things teachers can do are listen to the student, check in with them afterwards to see if the bullying has stopped, and give advice.
One issue, though, is students may not want to tell adults when bullying occurs. One Parkdale security guard agreed.
“It’s sometimes fifty-fifty,” he said. “Sometimes they’ll tell me about bullying, sometimes the teacher tells me.”
With the close of Bullying Awareness Month, it is vital for Parkdale students to pledge to end bullying for good.