I’m not going to lie to you; I once bullied a classmate named Ann. She was 12 years old. We were in the same class at our elementary school and I did it because everyone was doing it. I was shy and didn’t know how to stand up for what was right. Ann was consistently laughed at, mistreated, and insulted. Somehow, she would stand strong and ignore what we all said to her.
Even at a young age I knew she had a hard life. Other kids knew this too, but this never stopped our bullying of her at school and in the schoolyard. But she would still try her best while dealing with our bullying. I later learned that she was also abused by her mother. Even Ann’s life outside of her school life was tough.
Defined by the dictionary, “bullying” is the act of intimidating a weaker person. My definition of someone who is bullied is a person who is picked on continually by a person or group of people with more power or popularity. Bullies pick on the people they think don't fit in, or because of how they look, how they act, and also maybe their race or religion.
I have learned that bullying is not a game and can cause people to harm themselves or others. Nobody ever wants to be bullied and it was difficult to stop something that was so easy to do. Bullying is a very big problem in schools throughout our country, and I bet that students everywhere can share their own stories about seeing students bullied in their schools. I wonder why adults do not do more to stop this.
Thousands of teens all over are afraid of going to school because of other kids who try to make their lives miserable with name calling, insulting, pushing and other abusive behaviors. Statistics show that 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, & physically at one time in their school years. Thirty-nine percent of middle school students and thirty-six of high students say that at one time in their school careers they have not felt safe at school. For students like Ann, who also experiences family bullying at home, I wonder where their safe place is?
Some more research showed me that ninety percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying at one time. I thought the number would be so much lower. I wondered if my classmates and I would have bullied Ann had we had known what she was going through at home. Unfortunately, bullies do not ask the kids they bully about their home situations.
A survey taken by KidsHealth asked over 1,000 kids my age how many of them were bullies themselves. Most of them (58%) said they never bullied others, but the others said that they did. Of those kids who were surveyed:
- 22% said they bullied others once in a while
- 5% said they bullied others every week
- 15% said they bullied others every day
The same website had surveys about what kids most often did when they were bullied and other questions that they asked kids. My website search of bullying showed me that there were so many sites dedicated to bullying. Many of these web pages were for adults, which made me think that grown-ups know that this is happening in school.
I’ve changed a lot since 5th grade when I was a shy and quiet girl who didn’t know how to stand up for people. But now when I hear someone bullying Ann I stand up for her. After telling them about what she has been through, some of the kids are embarrassed and surprised. But some other kids still don’t care, and they continue to insult and bully her. When they do this even knowing what she deals with at home is what annoys me the most.
After learning about the larger problem of bullying it’s hard to think how we made Ann’s life so difficult when she already had such a tough time at home. That’s why I no longer bully Ann or feel good when I see bullying happening around me. School is a place were people are supposed to feel safe and secure and even a place where they can be away from their problems at home and possibly have a place to talk to friends and be happy.
From the bullying statistics I read it’s clear that bullying in school is a growing problem. We really need to stop this increase. If you were a parent, you would not want your child to feel insecure and unsafe at school, would you? Bullying causes kids to sometimes do horrifying things to themselves because they feel like nobody cares about them, or even wants them to be alive. I have learned to treat other people the way I want to be treated. This is good advice for you too.