Dear Future Mr./Mrs./Miss President
I would like to make a request. We, as in students, parents, peers and and other individuals, feel that we aren’t doing enough to take care of the bullying threat.
As a teenage, autistic/ADHD male sophomore student who has a strongly over-the-top opinion about many subject materials, except in political matters, I am often bullied and mocked by my fellow classmates in school because of my many oddities and overall hyperactivity. And I’m not the only one. I know a majority of students who are bullied, harassed and treated poorly by other students. Some accept themselves as outcasts and play along with the joke as the punchline. Others feel as if they have no out, or are unable to make a stand for themselves, so they allow themselves to endure the harsh words. Then, we have the rather small percentage of people who report it. According to Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (www.pacer.org), about 22% of students report being bullied. How many don’t report being bullied? 64% of students don’t report these events! 64! These kids could get help, and sometimes they simply don’t have the confidence to talk about this sort of thing. Or are scared to approach an adult about their fears.
Historically,(according to promote prevent.org) “Bully” was a term from the 1500s, and came from the Dutch word, boele. Ironically enough, boele meant...umm… ”lover”. Ok? It wasn’t until later where it was used as a term for blusterer, or one who is full of hot air and has empty threats and then to the term we know today. Mobbing was also another term, This time it was coined by Peter Paul Heinemann, a physician and Holocaust survivor that compared the act of harassing others with carnivorous bird, such as crows, attacking in a large group. But to be fair, bullies have been around for as long as I can remember and anyone I know can remember. It’s just something that has occurred naturally in its progression. Now, the origin of why I wanted to write this is for multiple reasons. One is that I feel bullied by a lot of my fellow students. Two, nobody is talking about this issue on a grander scale. Three, the fact my school, like most schools, doesn’t seem to care for the issue. They have these new phone rules, and they concentrate on taking away phones from students than actually solving the issue of bullying. For crying out loud, I know a girl who had to COMPLAIN in a complaint box that she was harassed and bullied. And the office lady there just brushed it off like it was some sort of printer issue! It seems like schools are focused on issues like students constantly on their cells phones in class, or skipping school, then an issue like bullying.
The causes of the issue lies in one simple word, Ignorance. AKA, the lack of attention or information that a certain issue requires. The simple way to put it, people who don’t care for the safety of these bullied individuals. It’s a bad thing to ignore the issue. For higher-ups, for students and for anyone, the lack for any attention towards the issue is tragic. The bully gets more gratification for the lack of attention too. As they can make fun of you without anyone fighting back. Pacer.org claims that 57% of bullying can be stopped by peers. So I say go to the people with the most amount of power in order for your problem to be solved.
The victim is most affected by this. They get depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other disorders. According to nobullying.com’s suicide statistics, children and teens that are bullied are more likely to consider suicide more by 7 to 9 percent. It pains me to say… that this is all a normal thing for bully victims to deal with. It’s sad, it’s scary, and it exposes the victim as weak, pathetic and unintelligent. Bullies are also affected at points. Once again, sometimes they are also victims to bullies, but unfortunately, they take their rage out on what they consider lesser people. It’s even believed and studied by researchers that bullies experience the same suicidal thoughts as many bullied individuals. There may be a connection there after all. However, sometimes,bullies are people who want to empower you to make themselves either seem or feel better. These people have thuggish ideals and have no real reason to bully you. However, that's hardly the case, as what many people have seen, bullies do have problems of their own, often not knowing how to handle it. So, what do people counter these things with?
Everyone knows a lot of these excuses. “Boys will be boys, It’s natural in childhood, bullying will make people tougher, They’ll always tell an adult, Bullies are easy to spot, It’s not Bullying, It’s a prank/ teasing/ a social experiment, ignorance will make it go away!” Pacer.org made a great .pdf about bullying and how you can counter any of these arguments. Heck,I have been at the brunt of a lot of this bull! I can prove the arguments wrong! Firstly, anyone,no matter age,sex,orientation and other factors can be bullies. I’ve been bullied by individuals younger than me, who are the opposite gender and have been in a more polite of ideologies. No,it’s not natural. As humans, it’s a distinct factor that we can communicate in speech and language. The fact that outcasting someone with differing opinions is not only stupid, but it’s horrifying do. I cried at points during my life, because I thought everyone around me hated me. It’s not good to isolate somebody! At least have an opposing opinion talk to you and have an open mind. Be polite. Let them talk. Opinions don’t hurt unless it goes against your ideals, then it’s wrong! Bullying makes me tougher? No! It doesn’t! I cried to one of my friends, I talked to her how I was useless garbage! How nobody liked me and my friends were merely there to look over my sad, disappointing life! Yeah! I’M A GODDAMNED BARBARIAN NOW,APPARENTLY! Bullies will never be easy to spot. I tried to go on bully patrol. I couldn’t find someone to stop. Most bullying isn’t even physical, it’s mostly verbal! So it’s hard to tell between harassment and teasing. Pranking is funny on individuals you know about and if both the victim and prankster are laughing at the end. People can be too shy to tell an adult. And Ignorance will make it worse. The bully will go out of their way to try and bully you in another way. So yeah, these arguments can be fought off in the easiest way possible. So...how do we counter such an unclear, misunderstood threat to education?
It’s hard… very hard. I say, try and find ways of differentiating bullies from a crowd of people. Make people aware of more advanced ways of bullying. Bullies are more aggressive, have friends who bully, get into more violent verbal and physical acts and seem to act aggressive towards other individuals. This recommendation is dumb, but make bullies in media and real life seem more than a leather jacket hurting a pair of glasses. Make them understandable people and characters. To better understand how the bullying went down, plan a talk between a peer, the bully and the victim. It helps to know your bully and your victims and reason with both sides of the story in a fair, just manner. Bullying is not meant to be a natural thing! Bullying is meant to teach other things! Bullying is meant to teach that… there are moronic apes out there who are willing to force their own opinion down your throat. There are people out there who wish to make people miserable for disagreeing. You know why? Bullies are one of the things that teach that there are people who will never agree with you, who want you to do what they do, and that there are people out there for you. People who care for you. People who love you, people who respect you and people who will help you and the people who don’t do any of those things are only there to force you into what you don’t want. Bullies may be a natural part of life… but we, the peers, the staff we work and go to school with, our friends and family must be there to help and to show that there are people who are willing to help. Bullying teaches that we and other people are there for you when you need someone to accept who you are…
Thank you for your time and energy. I know as the president, it’s the most important and busy job in the world. You’re guaranteed be doing something in oval office to help out our country. And I respect that you take time to read something done by another citizen to help change this land for the best.
Thank you, Have a good day. Sincerely, and with so much respect for your work,
Yale R. Winans.