Bullying is a topic that has been talked about throughout the years, but more the last couple months than a few years ago. It is an important issue, and there need to be conversations about it, and ideas on how to solve it while putting the moral responsibility on the students.
I was bullied throughout my school years, being attacked verbally or otherwise, all day, five days a week takes a toll on you. The bullies make you feel like less of a person and as if you don’t deserve to enjoy your school years because of your social status and personal interests. Like you merely exist to be a scapegoat for preps/jocks and students with wealthy parents who make large donations to the school.
My best friend, a fellow outcast, and I were the victims of bullying. One incident involved a large group of girl preps who verbally attacked us right outside the school office. Nothing happened until the moment my best friend and myself stood up for ourselves. Less than five minutes later the principal came out and told us to go his office and the preps to go to class.
After the principal scolded us, he told us weren’t allowed to call our parents and to go straight to class. Well, we were fed up, so we went to class and asked our teachers if we could use the phone to call our parents. Both said yes, so we took turns using the pay phone. Shortly after hearing from our parents, he yelled at us for it; said he told us to go straight to class, we informed we did and received permission from our teachers to use the phone.
My point: ALL students need to be held accountable for bullying. Preps/jocks and students with wealthy parents need to be held accountable and face the consequences like anyone else for mistreating a fellow student. If a bully needs to be pulled from cheerleading at a game or competing in a competition or forced to sit out a track meet or a game; even a championship game, so be it. If a school has to risk losing a competition, track meet, game, or a bully could lose a scholarship opportunity depending on the frequency or severity of the bullying, so be it. The well being of the kids comes first.
Tell your child, if they are being bullied to go to a teacher or the principal. If nothing is done about the situation, your child needs to tell you so you can figure out what to do next. If possible, get in contact with the bully’s parents.
Also, teach your kid some coping skills. I used to read to block everything about my reality out for a while. I wrote poetry and stories. I also cuddled with my cat, when he let me. He was a Siamese with an attitude and introverted nature. Let them know nobody has the right to decide the value of another person. Also, make sure, they understand that nobody has the right to take the life of another person and that is why people need a way to cope when others don’t like them.
If your child IS a bully, I urge you to have a conversation with them. Tell them they need to be respectful of other people. And if they are involved in extracurricular activities, let them know that doesn’t make them better than anybody else and it is not an excuse to bully those not athletically gift, who dress differently, talk differently or are different in any way. Make sure they understand there will be consequences for their actions if you find out they are mistreating others.