Dear Next President,
I would be grateful if you take my letter into consideration. I hope you will consider my topic and make a change. Bullying is a national issue; it is happening everywhere in our country. It can happen in a kindergarten class, in a college dorm room, or even in a family household. People might think bullying is all fun and games. It might not seem like a big deal when you see children push each other on a playground, but it is more serious than that; bullying is equal to harassment. Certain people think bullying is just a phase children go through, but it’s a serious situation and few people are taking a stand to help the victims who are being harassed. Bullying is an advanced issue today and not only are teens victims, but so are young children and adults. Bullying may lead to mental health problems, failing grades, and suicide.
Studies show that anyone involved with bullying are at an increased risk for depression. Depression is known as a feeling, but it’s a serious mental disorder that may cause impairment in someone’s daily life. Research shows that victims of bullying are nearly twice as likely to carry guns and other weapons at school. Bullying may cause victims mental health problems; there’s been mass shootings in schools because students couldn’t handle the harassment anymore. Victims are not just harming themselves, but they’re also harming other people around them.
Also, school assemblies or simply posting signs that read, “No place for hate” or “This school is a bully free zone,” are not enough to prevent bullying. School administrators are always saying how their schools are improving, but 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% of the time. Teachers are busy teaching and might not pay attention to students who might require emotional support. Students who are experiencing bullying might not have the courage to stand up for themselves or report their situation to an adult. Victims might not think there is a logical way to stop the bullying, which could lead to depression or worse. Teachers need to be more vigilant of their students and look for these signs of depression. For example, if a person was a straight A student and suddenly started to get failing grades, this could be a sign of something deeper than forgetting to study for a test. Teachers need to be trained properly to intervene early before something tragic could happen. We, as a country, need to be proactive and provide a safe haven for our students. If a student reports an incident of bullying, we must act on it. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk to the abuser or contact parents about the incident. Just by acknowledging the bullying, victims will feel empowered to stand up and speak against this type of harassment.
If we don’t do anything, victims might leave school or drop out to be homeschooled; approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day. Dropping out of school is catastrophic, but some victims decide to harm themselves or commit suicide, which is obviously much worse. Every 40 seconds someone has taken their own life; there are 117 suicides per day. It’s time to take action instead of ignoring the issue. People get bullied for their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disabilities, etc.. What are you doing about this idea?
Therefore, what I’m asking from you is to make a change. Bullying will never stop completely, but you should mandate training for teachers to help them deal with bullying. Laws should be in place to make bullying illegal. Physical bullying should be treated as assault and be punishable under stricter laws. Students should not feel scared to go to schools; school is supposed to be a safe place for children to get education. People ignore bullying or consider it socially acceptable. We must change our mindsets and teach children to be kind and free from judgments, stereotypes, and racism. Finding a solution for bullying is one step closer to empowering young people or adults to be respectful and productive citizens of this great nation. This is the first step to world peace.
Krysta L., Pennsylvania