Bullying, it’s something we see on a daily basis. Whether it is at school, at the mall, or anywhere else, it does happen. Many of us might witness it, but few actually step in and help. It’s crucial to understand what it does to people who get bullied, and why you should step in and help. Bullying does happen in school and it affects students emotionally and/or physically. This type of abuse makes students scared to go to school, leads to depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness.
According to heyugly.org, around 160,000 adolescents stay home daily due to a fear of bullying. That amount of students fearing bullies is unacceptable. Kids should be able to go to school without fearing that they will be bullied, mentally and/or physically. According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among students ages 10-24 years old. It is disheartening to hear that there are many people out there that take their own lives because of the impact bullying has on them.
I knew someone who was bullied from grade school up until her graduation day of high school. Her name was Lynn, she was picked on for her looks so few knew what she was like. She was like an onion; there were many layers to her that no one cared to know. Her friends at the time were saying cruel stuff to her such as, “you’re too ugly to live,” “you were born by mistake,” “you’re too ugly, and no one cares what you have to say.” Then it was the rest of the people in her grade. She was an outsider, she had trust issues, and she has thought of suicide. She has imagined herself going to a river and sticking her head under water, not wanting to come up for air. Since she went to a regular school, and Polaris for lunch, she went to her classroom floors’ bathroom and cried almost everyday and no one knew but her teacher. What is she like now? Well, she is now a journalism major here at Cleveland State, and even though her insecurities will always burden her, she tries to socialize more and tries to forget the past. The phrase that gets her through each day is ‘stay strong.’ She still gets anxiety from socializing, but she is trying to be a better her. Why did I mention Lynn, you might ask? I mention her because behind everyone, there is a story. Each person’s story is different and it’s important not to judge others by what you see. If everyone were kinder to one another, maybe the statistics of bullying and suicide would go down. Instead of trying to tear each other down, because people view each other as competition, people should encourage others.