The Hidden – Bullying

The+Hidden+-+Bullying

School is a place that we are supposed to be learning. In some cases, kids have made school a place to bully, sell drugs, or even do drugs. Bullying is one of the most overlooked, and yet, troublesome issues that schools and students face. It is really sad when you think about how kids know that some of the words they say can cause physical and emotional scars. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 students are being bullied and over 160,000 teens have skipped school because of verbal harassment and/or physical bullying.

To further investigate this issue, I went to our school counselor and asked her some questions about Sheridan and what they are doing to get rid of bullying. She told me that there is nothing program wise that they are doing. The only thing that they are doing is discipline, which is good, but is it enough? I think that they should have an actually program that is implemented to create a preemptive environment vs. a reactive one. A hall monitor program would certainly be an excellent first step. I went on to ask her how many kids on a normal basis  have discussed an issue regarding bullying. Hughes relayed that around 60% of students that see her report bullying and that often half of those are false reports.

Photography Credit: ASLA

In Sheridan, bullying certainly takes place, but to what extent is a larger question. Most of the kids that get picked on typically are different in some way, whether it be a skin disease or just look different socially. Movies like Wonder and Love Simon are based on kids being bullied for something they have no control over – which is often the case. In Wonder, a boy is born with a cleft palate, this means that there is an opening in the mouth. He went through dozens of surgeries and has so many scars all over his face and talks weird. He was home schooled for most of his school years but then in 6th grade decided to go to middle school. There he found how people really are and how different, but yet, the same he was. Another film that explores this issue is Love Simon. It is a film about a high school boy who knows he’s gay and has known since he was a little boy but hasn’t told anyone. He finds himself in love with an unknown character named Blue. This character turns out to be his best friend in the end; when the school finds out that he is gay he was looked at differently and was forced to help someone fall in love with his best friend. These movies are certainly reflective of real life instances of students being bullied.

About 7% of kids that get bullied commit suicide. Here is a personal story of 9 year old Steven from Arizona, who was bullied. He was bullied so much that it led him to decide that death was the only way out. His bullies would bully him to the point of actually setting him on fire, that was the night that he killed himself.  When the bullies set him on fire they took a video of it and posted it on there social media. Later that night while Steven’s mom was cooking, he hung himself in his bedroom. His dad Mike later said, “We just found out to late, or maybe we didn’t act fast enough, I don’t know.”

The CDC states that there have been 45,000 reports of kids committing suicide in the past year due to bullying. We need to start doing something as a whole to stop this number from climbing. I don’t know what that proper way would be, but we need to find one. As a society we have a responsibility to do as much as we can to help. If you are someone who is being bullied and you don’t have anyone to talk to, call this number 1-800-273-TALK.

Stuart Edge