Bullying is a social justice issue that has been around for many decades. Bullying is an aggressive act that is intentionally done by harming someone verbally, physically, or psychologically. Normally, bullying is created through and imbalance of power and it is repeated over and over again. There’ something like a general acceptance or justification that “kids will be kids” and that it’s okay because they are at an adolescence stage instead of correcting the behavior when it first arrives. As a result, bullying can sometimes turns into things such as suicide, depression, anxiety and increased feelings of sadness and loneliness. Often times throughout the face of society many people tend to overlook the issue or they don’t realize that they are staring in the face of the beginning stages of what a bully looks like. Many adults like to conclude that the child is just going through a phase and that it will pass with time. Many individuals have come to the assumption that those who are being bullied either “got what they deserved” or they asked for it.
According to Stopbullying.gov, some warning signs of bullying include but are not limited to sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations, decreased self-esteemed, declining grades, and difficulty sleeping or nightmares. Bullying is shown through various forms such as verbal bullying, social bullying, and physical bullying. More times than enough, we as individuals tend to believe that children are the only victims of bullying, but in reality, both children and adults can be affected by bullying and it can be detrimental to the person that’s facing it first hand. Bullying has been tolerated for far too long and accepted rather than being stopped and taking precautionary measures to prevent the act from happening in the first place. As mentioned up above, there are various types of bullying, but cyberbullying is the most common and overlooked form of bullying that is happening in our society today.
Some may ask, what is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is bullying that occurs on devices such as tablets, computers, and cell phones. The bullying occurs through text message, picture messaging, social media websites and emails. Cyberbullying contains anything that can be publicly shared or viewed. The content can be false, harmful and negative. This includes sharing personal or confidential information about a person without their consent in order to achieve likes, laughs, and empowerment. Cyberbullying causes humiliation and embarrassment towards the individual that the content is about. Cyberbullying is different from traditional bullying because the perpetrator doesn’t have visual and physical engagement of the victim. Traditional bullying occurs through direct contact whereas cyberbullying happens behind a screen causing victims to feel as if there is no escape. The content that is shared online creates a permanent public record that doesn’t go away and can be forever accessed if in the hands of the wrong person. Cyberbullying can affect the victim’s online reputation and make them seem to be something they are not. The online bullying can affect future employment, college applications, and any professional events that may take place in the future. The victim isn’t the only one that will be affected by these actions, the bully itself will have consequences.
Despite the history with bullying , often times people still say that cyberbullying is overhyped. For example, in the Wall Street journal, “Stop Panicking Over Bullies, the author states that “we live in an age of helicopter parents so pushy and overbearing “ (Gillespie). Throughout the article, Gillespie talks about how bullying is not on the rise and that kids may actually be better behaved than ever. The author makes references to his own childhood and how bullying then actually was a problem but as time progressed, Gillespie believes that children have started being better and that bullying is no longer the problem. He in fact believe that the problem is the overprotective parents that keep a tight leash on the kids. While I do agree with Gillespie that parents are more tight these days and really protective. I don’t believe that has taken place over bullies. Bullying has been around for long periods of times but so have children and if bullying is not talked about and parents let their kids do whatever they want and are not so protective, then the problem won’t stop and bullying will continue to persist. You see the problem isn’t with the parents in fact, if you ask me overprotective parents might actually be a solution to bullying. Here’s how. I believe a lot of time when children bully, they know they won’t face any consequences at home so they are more comfortable in the idea that they can do what they want and it’s not a big deal. But if you have parents that constantly stay on their children and protect their innocence and behavior as best as they can then the child will know better than to act as a bully would. The children would think twice about bullying because they know that when they get home they’re going to have parents who care to answer to.
People think that bullying is a natural part of someone’s childhood or that some people deserved to be bullied because it is a common experience in one’s lifetime but it is the complete opposite. Gillespie states how bullying is overhyped and how it is not on the rise but if everyone was to think this way it would be sad. All people and children deserve to be treated with consideration and respect and there is nothing natural about being bullied and emotional, mental and physical aggression towards others should not be tolerated. Verbal assault is sometimes looked passed because one may think that words will never hurt you. Even though words don’t leave any broken bones or bruises it can leave emotional scarring that can last a lifetime. Most children are occasionally teased or picked on by other kids and are too scared to actually tell someone because they fear retaliation by the children doing the bullying or they may also feel that if they tell the adults they won’t take their concerns seriously or will deal inappropriately with the situation. Ignoring bullying does not make it go away. The solution may sound easy but it wont completely stop it from happening to an individual. If anything it might make the situation worse for the person being bullying by showing the bully that the target is incapable or unable to do anything about the situation. It may make the victim look like a “snitch” in the bullies eyes and make them attack them more than usual. Most kids don’t know the difference between telling and tattling. Telling is done when you are trying to get someone in trouble because of the actions that have done and you’re trying to protect you or someone else, tattaling is what is done when you are just trying to get someone in trouble. In some cases bullying can result into suicide. According to article, “ Can Childhood Bullying Lead To Suicide? , suicide associated with bullying is the third-leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year-olds in the United States alone. Bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior is closely related. This means that youth who are reciprocating any of the negative bullying effects are more likely to report high levels of suicide behavior rather than people who aren’t involved with bullying. People who experience bullying are more prone to committing suicide and that’s a really sad fact that a lot of people don’t care about until it happens to someone they care about. Bullying is not ok and it never will be and everyone deserves to live a normal life.
Recognizing and understanding that all forms of bullying is a major public health problem is a big stepping stone for society. Bullying is a big problem for children and young people that go through it. It makes people lose their self-esteem and knocks their confidence and can make children dread going to school or to any social events that takes place. I think that bullying should be considered a crime because I honestly think that bullying is taken way too lightly. From personal experience nothing has really been done to truly prevent bullying from happening. There were times in the past where society were disciplined and made it impossible to bully and there is an anti-bullying law that has been in effect in the state of New Jersey stating that there should be training to help detect bullying and help people become instructed on how to deal with bullying and i think that every state should implement this. If everyone were to take bullying as serious as New Jersey then i think that we would be better off as a country. Wanting to be more educated about how to detect bullying or control and handle it is a big thing. Most people let bullying happen because they don’t know how to approach the problem and are uncomfortable doing it. If we continue to be scared to stand up to the problem then it will forever be an ongoing problem in the world. Suicide rates will continue to go up and parents will continue to have to bury their children when all of this can be avoided by just educating ourselves. If we were to take anti-bullying programs and other bullying campaigns seriously then it would show the victims that we know what they are going through and will also show them that they do have someone to talk to that will actually take a stand with them rather than sweep the situation under the rug and continue with life. Helping bullying victims will give them a chance at life and show that they actually have something to live for and will show them that life is precious and that they should never let someone ruin or determine their happiness.
Although bullying has been around for some time and many may think its not gonna get better, it doesn’t give us a right to stop trying to bring awareness forward and put an end towards bullying. If you notice someone getting bullied then you should stand up for the bully or alert someone as soon as possible. Otherwise there is a risk of losing someone as no one knows how strong the person is. According to the article, “Bullying: who does what, when and where?” the author states “bullying does not only occur between children who bully and those who are bullied, but is considered a group phenomenon in which other people participate” (Pijpers). Bullying affects everyone. Whether you are the target, the bystander, or even the kid who picks on others, there’s always something you can do to put an end to bullying. The solution to prevent bullying could be more awareness programs and go to the source of the problem. Most kids that are actually being bullied are either scared to tell authorities or scared to stand up to the person who is bullying them. If the bully is confronted about the things he or she is doing then maybe the eyes of the bully will be opened and they wouldn’t want to bully anymore. If these things don’t happen, then we can open up counselling sessions for bullies so that we can reach the root of the problem and figure out why the bully feels that their actions are acceptable. We as individuals need to step up and take a stand. Would you want someone bullying you? It doesn’t feel good and it needs to stop. If we sit back and allow it and do nothing then society will begin to think that bullying is ok and should be normalized.
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