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Oct 12

Bullying is the Issue

Recently, one of our Kids Zone teens, Jerimiah Gower, wrote about an important issue facing young people today–bullying.  His article, which appeared in The Teen Corner of the June issue of the Kids Zone newsletter challenges all of us to be aware of this issue and to speak up against bullying.

Bullying behavior is no longer confined to the school room or playground, but throughout adulthood as well.  Bullying behavior has grown to be communicated via text, mobile phones, Internet, social networking sites, forums, and so on.  There are many types of bullying.  For example, calling someone a nasty name is bullying, but in my generation there is more than meets the eye.  One type of bullying is physical bullying, which is being hit, kicked, punched or tripped.  Verbal bullying is another type of bullying, which includes being called names, teased, or insulted.  Another form is psychological bullying, in which you are being threatened, stalked, or manipulated.  Social bullying is being ignored, having rumors spread about you, or telling lies about you.  A new form is cyber-bullying.  It is insulting someone in chat rooms, sending cruel or threatening emails, text messages, or spreading rumors using mobile phones.
So why do bullies bully their peers?  Bullies generally go for people who are different in any way.  It could be physical, mental, religious, cultural or due to one’s sexuality.  There are a lot of reasons why some people bully. They may see it as a way of being popular or making themselves look tough, while other people bully to get attention or to make other people afraid of them.  Some may simply be jealous of the person they are bullying or they may be being bullied themselves.  Most bullies don’t understand how damaging their behavior is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.  People who bully do not fall into a specific category, but rather a bully can be an older person, or someone in a position of power, such as a teacher, parent or boss.
There are may proactive things people might be able to do if they are being bullied.  If you are being bullied you might try and work it out by yourself.  However, if the bullying doesn’t stop you might find it helpful to ask someone else for advice.  Don’t be afraid to let someone know that you are being bullied.  They can help you.  If no one believes you or takes you seriously, tell someone else.  Keep telling people until someone helps you. 
What can you do if you see someone else being bullied?  If you see someone else being bullied, you should always try to stop it.  If you do nothing, you’re saying that bullying is okay with you.  Help the person being bullied by telling an adult they can trust.