Battling Bullying

Kelsey David, reporter

“Dude, I swear, you are so dumb sometimes.”

You see, that? You may consider that as just teasing, but to others, it could be equivalent to a slap in the face. Or worse, the decrease in self-confidence. As common as it is, you might think that bullying is a new trend.

But then you think, “since everyone does it, it’s okay.”

In reality, though, it’s not. Such a cliche thing to say, right? But before you roll your eyes at another article about bullying, just think about what it can do. Bullying hurts. The worst part is, that it’s literally everywhere. At the mall, at school, at home, even. It may not always be directed towards you, but still, it’s happening. Fair enough, many people aren’t aware of the fact that they’re bullying, or they don’t understand how much damage can be done. For those who do acknowledge the fact that it’s wrong, they often forget about the consequences that follow their actions, both for themselves and the person they bullied.

Sarah Moninger (9) admitted that bullying is a bad thing.

“But everyone gets bullied, so I guess they bully, too, to make themselves feel better,” she said.

Here in today’s society, we have many forms of bullying, new and old. There’s the traditional rumor-spreading and verbal bullying. We have social alienation, which focuses on excluding someone from the group on purpose. Intimidation can involve bribing and threatening. Then there’s the most common now-a-days; cyber-bullying and gender role and sexual orientation criticizing.

At McKinley, you may see more racial and ethnic bullying. Considering how many immigrants come to Hawaii because of family, or new opportunities, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a new face here and there. Many of these students are ESL, and can’t speak English, and when they do, it’s not spoken very well.

“I think that when it comes to racial bullying, and to bully someone about something that they can’t even control, it has to be one of the most ignorant things in the world,” said Deanna Wathen (11).

Matthew Conner (9) said, “I don’t think that any race is a specific target. As bad as it seems, we all get the same amount of hate.”

Whatever type of bullying you choose to do, the effects are still the same. Victims will have scars that could last a lifetime, or even shorter than that. A victim of bullying is twice as likely to take his or her own life compared to someone who isn’t a victim. One out of 10 students drop out of school because they’re bullied. 57% of students who experience harassment in school never report the incident. 10% of those who don’t report stay quiet since they don’t believe teachers and staff can do anything. As a result, more than a quarter of students feel that school is an unsafe place to be. ( A lot of people underestimate the power of bullying. They don’t know how much they could hurt someone.

You ask, “well, why don’t the victims do something about it, then?”

For some, it’s honestly not that easy. There are several circumstances that one has to consider when involved in a bullying situation. For example, a victim’s bully could be their friend. They could be a loved one, someone they trust. Fear and threats should be taken into consideration. But there is hope; there are people out there who realize how awful it is.

Margeline Montero (11) said “It’s completely disrespectful. People who bully are looking for a power trip; it’s disgusting.”

For those of you who don’t know, October was National Anti-Bullying month.

Surely, this didn’t go unnoticed by everyone; so be one of those people.

Bobae Kim (12) thinks that “people who get bullied let themselves get bullied.”

Help them realize this. Help everyone see that this can be prevented. It may sound lame, but it’s not. It’s the right thing to do. If someone is being bullied, don’t just stand and watch. It really is okay to tell an adult, or step in yourself if you feel safe enough.

That boy you just tripped? He’s probably abused enough at home. And that girl you just called fat? What would you do if you found out she was over-dosing on diet pills? So before you tease someone, think about what might happen, what they’re going through, before you voice your opinions for the sake of a laugh. Moving to a new country can be terrifying, and practicing a personal dress code that reflects culture, that’s not wrong, either. It’s not difficult to respect someone.

Remember; words hurt, names burn, and laughs can kill.