The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines bullying as, “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.” There is an epidemic of bullying in schools across the nation. Bullying in schools should be stopped completely. There is no excuse for bullying to occur.
Bullying comes in several forms such as physical, verbal, psychological and the more modern cyber-bullying. It has a deep, negative impact on youth; far beyond what some people might think. It can cause the victim to feel worthless, like life is not worth living, extremely depressed, and like an outcast, to name a few. I have personally experienced all of those and many more. So why is bullying in schools so difficult to stop? Well, there can be numerous reasons for this. For example, teachers and parents are possibly not properly educated when it comes to recognizing or dealing with bullying and students are afraid to report bullying. Other students, who are not victims but are witnesses, could also be afraid of reporting such incidents so as to not become a victim themselves.
Allow me to present my past experiences with bullying. Bullying began for me many years ago when I was in elementary school. I attempted to report it and was told to “not be a tattle-tale.” Nothing was done about it. Granted, this was back in the mid 1990s. I just ignored it the best I could. It wasn’t until my 7th grade year that bullying began having a serious impact on my life, both physically and psychologically. I was bullied in unimaginable ways, some of which caused me to be hospitalized. As a result, I hid it. I hid the fact that I was being bullied. I made up excuses, like getting into a fight, for the bruises, scratches and cuts that I had. I refused to tell anyone I was being bullied. Why? I never told anyone because I was afraid. I feared for my life if adults found out what all had happened to me. I developed methods of illusion. By that, I mean I appeared to be happy, but deep down inside, I was screaming for help. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw someone who was torn, struggling to find hope, find a way out, and find the magic that would bring me back to where I belonged. I wanted it all to end. I wanted to take my own life and end it. To everyone else who looked at me, I appeared happy, funny, and outgoing. Those who looked at me couldn’t see the pain that I held deep within. Therefore, I mastered the illusion.
Why was I afraid to come forth to the adults? There are many reasons for this. The main reason was because if I did go to the adults, what would happen if the kids who bullied me caught me alone? I was already bullied enough, but...