Dear future President,
I’d like to address a problem that is a very important issue to me and also affecting other people. This issue may not be addressed enough - bullying and cyberbullying. I was bullied and cyber bullied in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Not only does the bullying in person affect you but so does the cyberbullying. I know the damage bullying and cyberbullying can do because I’m a victim of it. Bullying and cyberbullying is a way the bully torments, harrasses and embarrasses the victim. The bully may torment in person but also over the internet to feel powerful and in control. Sometimes the bully sees their actions as socially normal. Cyberbullying and bullying is not addressed enough to kids telling them that it is wrong or if you see something, say something. You never know the damage it’s doing to someone; people need to stand up and say something when they see it before it’s too late.
Bullying increases the chances of the victim to commit suicide. Over 14% of high school students have considered suicide, almost 7% have attempted it. Resulting in 4,400 deaths per year. 100 attempts of suicide a year due to bullying. 160,000 kids may stay home from school everyday per year due to fear of bullying. As being a victim of bullying, no I didn’t commit suicide; no I did not attempt it, but i can’t say there aren’t times you don’t think about it or think of self harm. The bullying doesn’t stop when you get home; it follows you, on the internet, on your mobile device, over text, when you go online and see things people are posting and saying about you. There are awful things and hurtful things being said about you; people are laughing at you and joining in and that stuff doesn’t go away. Once it’s posted, it is there forever. It stays. It sticks online forever. Before you know it, other people are joining in laughing at you, calling you names, making fun of you. Before you know it your world becomes really lonely really quick. You start to think iIm the only person who feels this way. I'm alone or can't do anything to make it stop. So why talk about it? Your world becomes full of fear, anger, and depression. You start to feel helpless. Questioning why me? What did I do to that person to make them hate me so much?
There are people who see bullying and never say anything. More than half of teens say they have seen or witnessed bullying or cyberbullying and never said anything. People don’t know it but speaking up, saying something using your voice, or even telling a teacher or a grown up who can do something about it helps that person a lot. Your name doesn’t even have to be said. As long as you speak up and say something because you never know how bad it is hurting that person. It can save someone if no one knows about it like their parents or their teachers. Most people don’t say anything due to being scared of being bullied. If you stand up, stick together. You have nothing to worry about - no one to fear. You have a voice. If everyone stands up, that one voice can turn into something so powerful. You can make a difference, make someone feel not so alone anymore; save a life, and change their life. Some people may argue saying that bullying and cyberbullying is not a big issue, or that “there is nothing wrong with bad mouthing someone.” Bad mouthing someone is not just talking bad about them - it’s harassment, it’s torture, it’s embarrassment. The bully may even threaten the victim. How is this not wrong when there are people killing themselves, doing self harm, attempting suicide? You don’t know how alone and sad someone can feel 'till you’re being harassed, picked on, threatened, and laughed at all the time. The words, the hatred, it follows you around and replays in your mind until it eats you alive and then you just feel hopeless. Like you’re all alone. There needs to be a program kids and teens can go to that has someone available to talk, so they can go get help and stand up for themselves and others. There should be a cyberbullying and bullying awareness week. Where people who are bullied and have been bullied come together and stand up and say this is not okay, we won’t stand for this, where finally the victims have a voice. It is not okay to feel as if you are not safe anymore or anywhere. Over the internet, at home, at school in the car, just looking at your phone. The next president needs to do something about this. There needs to be changes made.
There is no federal law against cyberbullying. Why is there not a law when people are committing suicide due to bullying and cyberbullying? “ In some cases bullying overlaps with harassment laws.” these laws are only enforced based on if it is sufficiently serious that “It interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.” Bullying and cyberbullying need to be addressed more in schools. To teens saying that it's wrong to be a bully, that bullying actually can kill in some cases. Teens need to be educated on cyberbullying and bullying. Teens being bullied need to know that they are not alone and can ask for help or stand up to the bully. They aren't alone other people have gone through it, don't let the bully win and get the best of you. Go to a teacher, a friend, a parent, someone you trust and stand up for yourself and others who may be scared to say something. Alone you're strong but together you can make a change for everyone being bullied. Stand up and say something; you have a voice. Don't ignore it when you see it happening. You never know when you're saving a life.