Bullying Still Here: An Issue That Has Taken a Different Shape, but Never Disappeared

Edna Herrejon

People in our school get made fun of and sometimes we all take it as jokes. What some people might not realize is that calling someone names, or saying something that hurts their feelings might not be as funny to them as it is to the person who said it. I have seen many people maybe get criticized about their weight and most of the time in the moment they laugh but later on they think of what that person said earlier and don’t feel so great afterward.

Edna Herrejon
Teacher demonstrating what it looks like to comfort a student that has been bullied

The worst part about bullies is that bullies don’t only stay in high school. Bullies are everywhere, they exist as people who are older such as a 35 year old or a 55 year old they might never learn their lesson to not pick on someone else and might just keep doing it their whole lives.

Many people even take their lives because they can’t handle the fact that someone just keeps judging and pushing them to maybe feel less of a person. Bullying can lead to self harm, depression, and suicide. Think of it this way, is someone going home sad or someone dying funny to you? Everybody’s answer should be no. There is no reason to pick on someone especially if you know it hurts them. I understand that many people might get frustrated but, treating someone the way you don’t want to be treated does not fix the situation.

Many people joke around, but don’t go too far and say something you know might hurt somebody’s feelings.¬† We should all know that because of bullying reasons depression is still a very big problem, it still leads to suicide, and with this fact, bullying should never be allowed to continue.

I decided to send a Google Form to the whole high school asking the three questions about the prevalence of bullying in our school. I got a total of 171 responses. On the first question asking, “Has somebody ever made you feel less than someone else?” 130 (76%) people said yes, 47 (27.5%) people said no. On the second question, “Have you ever been bullied?” 120 (70.2%) people said yes and 56 (32.7%) people said no. On the third question, “Have you ever witnessed somebody being bullied? 103(60.2%) people said yes, 38 (22.2%) people said maybe, and 30 (17.5%) people said no.

I interviewed an individual in our school about bullying and they anonymously replied, “I have been bullied many times…when I was younger,” they cannot even remember how many times it happened. They added, “Now I don’ t really take it seriously because our class just takes it as a joking way. I have been bullied the most about my weight and when I was smaller I used to cry because it made me feel horrible.” As they’ve gotten older, they have learned to love themselves for who they are, they are better able to brush off the insults, but add, “I would feel really guilty if I made someone else feel the same way I felt when I was smaller.”

I have witnessed bullying so many times, but most of the time, it gets brushed off and labeled as a joke, and no one really stops to think about it. I shared the second question from the Google Form results asking, “Have you ever been bullied” with the anonymous individual that I interviewed and they replied, ” Everyone has to have been bullied at least once in their life, those 44 people that are in there probably just did not know at the time. They probably, you know, thought that they were being joked around with instead of being threatened or harassed.” It is a sad statement about the frequency of bullying, if people cannot even see when they are being made fun of.

When I was a freshman I remember hearing some girls arguing in the bathroom and I thought they were joking around. I paid closer attention to it and they were starting to fight; I went in there and they were pushing each other and I went up to them and stopped them. I said that I would tell¬† Mr. Hildebrandt if they wouldn’t stop.

The anonymous source I questioned also added, “When you go to school you expect to just be at school, learn what your supposed to do, and get on with the day, but then, when there’s those type of people that like bully you, harass you, call you names, tease you, at the end of the day you are going to feel a little upset. You are going to feel, like, downsized.”

Our school needs to improve on how everyone acts towards each other. I can walk down the hall and people judge every part of me and it bothers me because there’s no reason to look at somebody with disgust when everyone has done something bad to judge about too. We don’t have the right to call each other names and lose respect for one another. We shouldn’t have to change the way people think about each other either. Just because we hear something about somebody else, it doesn’t mean we have to believe everything some person says just because they heard it.

Edna Herrejon
Students demonstrating what it looks like to work together without bullying.

I don’t think we really do know how much bullying has gone on in our school. So maybe it is time to stop and think about it for a minute. Don’t be so rude to one another, one day we will all hopefully graduate. When that day comes, that person you dislike will be out of your life and soon will there be more people who you dislike. It happens, it is part of life, you just have to learn to deal with disliking a person without tearing them down.

I leave a little message from my anonymous source, who wisely said, “If you’re ever feeling bullied, talk to an adult; don’t stay quiet. Talk to your parents and tell them whats going on. I know school is just for learning but sometimes things happen.”Don’t let those things happen without telling someone, don’t let the bullies win.