James W. Illinois

How Can We Strengthen Our Nation's Youth?

How the use of the words "bully" and "bullying" are causing our nation's youth to not be able to handle diversity and climb to success.

Dear President-Elect Trump,

How can someone truly be prepared to face a challenge if they have never come face to face with a single one? This is something you should understand very much with all of your successes as a business leader and a captain of industry. Many children in today’s society are being taught that if they cry and complain when presented with a situation that is not in their favor, they will get whatever they want and it will all be fine. I was taught at a young age from my parents that if I want something to happen it is my responsibility to go and make sure that it happens. This lesson is not being taught to today’s youth. Now, anytime a child decides to make a joke about another child, the second child will go and cry out “bully”, instead of taking the issue upon themselves to resolve. Do not get me wrong, bullying and constant harassment is not okay, but I believe that teasing and joking around is what will help make our nation stronger and eventually, great again.

The dictionary describes the word bully as someone who habitually use superior force to intimidate those who are weaker. A majority of people who use this term to describe a person who make jokes about another, get confused between bullying and normal human interaction. Stomp Out Bullying is an organization that wants to prevent bullying from happening in today’s schools. They receive many letters from parents every year talking about each of their children’s experiences with supposed bullies.These people explain how they are being treated unfairly and with cruelty. “ Normal social interaction, being told something you don’t want to hear, being ribbed by your friends on one occasion, being treated cruelly one time -- is not bullying.”(Ross Ellis, Online Author for Stomp Out Bullying) One action does not determine if someone is bullying you or simply making a joke.

I believe that our children need to face these jokes by themselves to learn how to face challenges they may encounter in the future. There are many studies done that show that children who were able to handle teasing and jokes made from their peers, were able to do better in school and when faced with a challenge, were able to rise to the occasion and were successful.Without the exposure to diversity, children were unable to handle the pressure and ultimately struggled to be successful in comparison to the other students and children of the same age.

Some people will say that no child should experience emotional and mental challenge among their peers. This statement is true but also false. Children should be taught at the right age and while they are young and innocent is not the time. We should encourage our children to deal with this diversity by themselves with small amounts of assistance from us. Children need to be challenged in order to expand their knowledge and social skills. Others will say “We can’t have our children feeling bad, it is not okay.” I disagree with this statement because in the real world, it is not all rainbows and gummy bears. Children need to be exposed to this, little bits at a time, so when they have to face it, they know how to deal with it and can move past it with success.

So Mr. Trump, I ask you. Do you want a nation of people who cry and complain every time something does not go their way, or do you want a country of strong, independent thinkers that can conquer obstacles in their way and rise above the rest.  

Metea Valley High School

English 2, Period 7

Mr. Page's very-totally-awesome 7th period English 2 class at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, IL.

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