5 December 2013
Bullying: Debatable Topic
Disaster struck at a high school in Colorado. On the morning of April 20, 1999, Columbine High School was attacked by two of its very own students. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were the shooters in the school. Word through the school was that the jocks, known as the “White Hats”, were the student athletes that would bully everyone else in the school. But both Dylan and Eric were not after the white hats. They were after the common student, as well as the school itself (Hymowitz). They felt as if they did not fit into the school and wanted some kind of revenge. The plot of the attack was blue printed about a year before the actual attack. For that year, both Dylan and Eric made hundreds of pipe bombs and collected multiple kinds of guns like sawed-off shot guns, small machine guns, and larger machine guns. Then the shooting began. Both shooters entered the school on a shooting spree. But most of the deaths came from the library, Dylan and Eric entered the library executing and wounded tons of students. They also shot back at the police officers. But the police did not enter for another two hours. As the
shooting came to a halt; thirteen students were dead including a teacher and let twenty two wounded before both the shooters took their own lives. Some stories say that both Dylan and Eric were bullied in their high school by the common student but another reason this devastating action happened was that Eric was on medications that gave him suicidal and mass murder thoughts. Dylan also had suicidal thoughts and actually tried to commit suicide before (Hymowitz). But in the end, this massacre comes to show that just being an outcast in the school, let alone being bullied can lead to a devastating ending resulting in hurt feelings and death.
In discussions of bullying in high school as well as cyber bullying, an ongoing point of controversy is the question of how it could be prevented. While some supporters argue to stop the bullying, others contend that bullying could never be prevented in the school environment. However, the most useful perspective on the issue on bullying is that school authorities should take more actions to let students know that there are solutions to the problems. It will also inform the bullies themselves that terrible punishments will be enforced to anyone attempting to bully another. Bullying starts at an early stage, from Elementary school to High school and even College. Bullying a person could lead to a lot of mental as well as physical issues. There are multiple types of bullying which I will mention later on in the paper. But in the end, it is not just the victims that get hurt by the effects on bullying, family and friends of the victim suffer also. “People need to hear from their local communities that bullying based or sexual orientation is a problem that really needs to be addressed” (Robinson).
Bullying can be taken by different forms of bullying. So I am going to talk about the four types of bullying. There is physical bullying, verbal bullying, covert bullying and last but not least, cyber bullying (four kinds). Physical bullying is one of the more severe types of bullying. In the physical bullying stage, the bully has the upper hand on the victim. Usually in physical bullying, the bully is a lot bigger or stronger than the smaller victim. The bully feels he could over power the victim so that’s where the physical aspect comes into play. Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, pushing, punching, hit with flying objects or even damaged property (Four kinds).
The second type of bullying is verbal abuse. Verbal bullying is about by far the worst type of bullying there is. It is also the most common of all the types. Every victim of bullying is verbally abused by their bully. Verbal bullying includes being insulted, teased, being called names, homophobic or racist remarks, or intimidation (Four kinds). The most used form of verbal bullying is used against the homophobic students. Words like queer, faggot, gay, lesbian, and dyke are commonly used. These words are used by the bully simply because the victim is gay or is just attracted to something and someone different than the rest of the crowd. In a survey of around three thousand four hundred gay and straight students, sixty five percent reported verbal abuses rooted in homophobia and prejudice within a year. The Harris Interactive Survey also indicates that eighty four percent of those surveyed reported that they had been called a derogatory remark such as being a “faggot” or “dyke”, and approximately seventy percent said they heard “gay” in a bad form (Robinson). Harassment is also a big deal in verbal abuse.
Harassment is when one person talks down or screams at another person without stopping. Gay and lesbian students are being harassed every day just because of their way of life and how they want to live.
The third kind of bullying is known as covert bullying. Although covert bullying is not heard of much, everyone still knows what it is. “Covert bullying is often harder to recognize and can be carried out behind the bullied persons back. It is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation” (Four kinds). Some examples of covert bullying includes damaging someone’s reputation, socially excluding someone, mimicking in a bad manor, embarrassing jokes to humiliate one, or just lying and spreading rumors (Four kinds). These examples occur in the everyday life of a high school student whether they are the bully or the bullied. Some people do not even notice that they are bullying another person. When they socially exclude a student or try to say or make up an embarrassing joke about another person. That bully saying the joke sometimes won’t even think about how the other person feels whether it’s a joke to hurt someone or just a friendly embarrassing joke. Covert bullying is a type of bullying that the bully doesn’t have to say it to the victims face to actually hurt them.
And the final type of bullying is a little newer to the category of bullying itself. It is known as cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is the behaviors used through digital technologies. Harassment through the phone as well as any social network is how cyber bullying was created (Four types). Cyber bullying is formed from rumors through a text message or internet site, or even an embarrassing picture or video of that person sent so everyone can see it. This type of
bullying could happen to everyone, not just a targeted population of students like gays or lesbians. The worst bully in the school can also be cyber bullied. But most of all, cyber bullying is something a bully would do because either one, he/she is a coward, or two, that bully just wants attention and to put something embarrassing about another person in either a mass text message or the internet just for attention.
“High school is not just a walk in the park for some students. Acne, hygiene, and choice of fashion can reflect how the student is treated” (Salazer). This problem is so bad that there are multiple side effects to the cause of bullying. First off, stress with the victim is at high risk. Stress is very common in every bullied victim basically because that person has the fear that their bully is waiting for him/her at school. And we all know what stress is capable of. A student should not be stressed going to school because that where friends are and where a student should get the same equal education as other students so there is no reason why a bullied victim should be outlawed and an outcast from school. This leads into the next topic of low grades and dropouts. Like I said how stress is within almost every bullied victim, stress is the main factor to a drop in grades and possible dropouts. Being stressed out can affect the way one performs from homework to tests to even showing up to school. A victim could be so stressed out that he/she are either scared to even go to school, or they just decide to not care. Experiencing bullying can lead to poor academic performance and attachment to school, leading to truancy and bad test scores (Brank). And poor performance leads to a drop out. “Harassment and bullying leads to almost one third of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) students to drop out of high school, according to the research by the American Psychology Association”
(Salazer). This leads to our final topic which is school shootings and suicides. Majority of school shootings come from the students themselves instead of an outsider. ”In another study that looked at school shootings, the agency reported that two thirds of the student shooters previously had been bullied” (Horswell). Examples like the Virginia Tech shooting and the columbine shooting where caused by either a bullied or stressed out student. Even the shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada was a target of school shooting. Just a middle school student was that stressed and bullied that much where just a twelve year old kid brought a weapon to school killing a teach and wounding two other class mates before committing suicide (Yan, Schoichet). School shootings usually result in a suicide by the shooter. Some people are bullied so much where that person feels they don’t have rights to live anymore than commits suicide. Bullied related suicides should not even exist because there are hundreds of alternatives to receiving help.
No matter how hard we try, there will always be bullying in this world. Why? Well there are multiple factors to how to counter act the bullying going on within the school area. The first factor can be the environment the bully lives in. the bully can be hanging around with the wrong group of kids influencing him to be mean or want to hurt someone else’s feelings physically or mentally. Another reason could be a lack of responsibility by the school officials in school. The school itself may not have groups or clubs where these bullied students can attend. Teachers might not care due to stress in their lives, cut in payments, or the teachers just don’t care at all. The final problem can be the parents not caring enough to help their own kids. For example, the school shooting at Sparks Middle School like I mentioned earlier had everything to do with the
parents not trying to help. This student was harassed by multiple bullies. At a young age of just twelve, where did this student get the gun he used to kill these students and teacher? (Yan, Schoichet). It is the parent’s responsibility because it was their gun the student killed with. The parents also obviously did not seek help for their kid. So in all, these counter arguments are why bullying is not put to an end.
How can this problem be solved? That is the main question. But there are many alternatives and solutions being enforced harder than ever to reduce the bullying factor. A great solution to the issue of bullying is to set up more clubs for these bullied victims whether it is from homophobic bullying or just any bully victim in general. The GLSEN and other programs are working hard to keep this problem in the eyes of the state and federal political agendas. Students are seeking to create a gay-straight alliance or other groups at the schools to support and help the victims (Robinson). Alliance groups could be great to take the fear of bullying out of the victims. Another solution could be harsher punishments. Stronger rules and regulations in a school can reduce bullying to a bare minimum. These punishments literally threaten the bullies to stop or you will be penalized. I believe this tactic would work great because it would obviously reduce the numbers of bullying significantly. Sixteen year old Tyler was a student in a public high school. Tyler says that being LGBT prevented the school from doing anything to help or prevent the bullying problems he was having. The bullying continued in the hallways for Tyler (Salazer). The school failed to address the problem, and soon later, Tyler began receiving threatening phone calls. He says he was scared to even go on campus anymore. But today, Tyler is not scared no more because of the “one n ten” program letting him work in facilities where he
was actually safe. But it wasn’t enough. He started to attend Q High; it is an only schooling where it meets all requirements to receive a diploma. He could also go into Q High where all the students are just like him (Salazer). It is a perfect safe environment for LGBT students. “I prefer going to Q high, says Tyler. It’s a safe environment and I’m not bullied. Nobody is calling me names and I don’t need to be stressed where I am, says Tyler” (Salazer). This solution comes to show that there is a perfect solution to get away from the bullying, but continues to have a great education and meet all new people that are just like you.
In conclusion, it is not just the victims being hurt by the forms of bullying but it is also the loved ones of this individual. Something has to be done to reduce the problem. As you notice I did not say stop the problem. We cannot stop the problem because it is physically impossible. People will always be mean to others whether it’s in the work place to college to middle school. But what we can do is put majority of bullying to an end. Enforcing laws and regulations can reduce the bullying percentages to a bare minimum keeping those who are bullied safe and never have to worry about being bullied again.
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