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Bullying And School Violence: The Colombine High School Shooting

1575 words - 6 pages

“Two gunmen enter school and open fire”. This was the headline seen and heard on every newspaper, radio, and news broadcast after the now infamous Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. Details about this shooting did not emerge immediately. However, when they did, the entire nation was in utter and complete shock. To begin with, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, ages 17 and 18, entered their school with an assortment of guns, knives, and bombs, ready and willing to take the lives of every individual in the high school. This begged the question “Why? What was the motive behind this sad and drastic decision?” The public would soon learn the answer. Investigation later showed Harris and Klebold were subjected to constant bullying, which greatly contributed to their decision to enter their high school and open fire on their peers and administrators. Little did the public know this would just be the beginning of numerous bully-related school shootings. In fact, Columbine was the first major incident to bring to light to the issue of bullying. Due to these findings, many schools in the 21st century have adopted anti-bullying programs to help put an end to bullying. However, anti-bullying programs are not effective, or as successful as they should be, which show there is no solution to fully end the growing problem of bullying.
Many people find the word “bullying” hard to define. In fact, the definition of the word has changed greatly within the last ten years. The current definition of bullying, according to stopbullying.gov, is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is reappeared, or has the potential to be repeated over time” (Bullying Definition). To many, this standard definition of bullying makes sense, but bullying has gone through major changes. Now, society deals not only with the traditional form of bullying, but also a new version of bullying, cyber bullying.
Bullying has gone through great changes within the past twenty years. Back in the 1990’s, bullying was done in person. There was more physical contact involved in bullying as compared to current times. Now, bullying is not necessarily done in person, but more so through the growing technology that people have become accustomed to. Within the last ten years, society has become more tech savvy, which has changed the way bullying occurs, as compared to 15 years ago. Before, a child who was bullied was only subjected to this behavior while they were in school. They could go home and not have to deal with their bully, and would even be away from them on the weekends. But now, a child can be bullied 24/7, through cyber bullying. Cyber bullying, as defined by stopbullying.gov, is “bullying that takes place using electronic technology” (What is Cyberbullying?). With society’s obsession with technology, there is no escape from a bully. Bullying can occur at all times...

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