By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor
Countless times, I’ve heard stories about students being bullied. Unfortunately, most of the stories that I’ve heard end in tragedies. While so many questions could be asked about our youth and the national epidemic of bullying, I want to know why so many children are left without help in these situations. It’s almost as if some adults believe in this ignorant myth that if a child ignores bullying it will go away. Well to be honest, I think it’s time we change the narrative and stop trying to hold the victims accountable for what is happening to them.
I can imagine it already being hard to talk about the bullying you have experienced. For one, we have sent a bad message by telling kids not to be a “tattletale”. There are students who won’t open their mouth to reveal what they are going through because they don’t want to appear weak or like a snitch. And then sometimes they just might be too scared to do it. But if a child does decide to let a school staff member know that they are a victim of bullying, I believe it is their job to wholeheartedly help in fixing the problem.
Many schools today claim to be bully-free zones. However, I find it ironic when their staffs ignore students’ cries for help when they are being bullied. With me being a huge critic of how many school systems are run these days, I think most of schools are simply just too lazy when it comes to combating bullying. Making an extra effort to resolve a case of bullying seems like too much work for some school officials. So they either choose to ignore the fact that there is a problem or create unacceptable excuses. I would also say schools are too afraid of ruining their reputation to deal with bullying. For some reason, they believe that having to address and reprimand bullying will be look bad upon the school’s perception and the staff. Like I said, the blame is somehow placed on the victim. This has to end.
The effect of unresponsive schools is truly harmful. When their cries for help are ignored, some students are able to live with being bullied. But sadly, that is not the case for all. There are some who end up taking their own life or retaliating in some sort of way. I know bullying can’t be prevented all in one day, but we must start by making a change in our schools. Let’s stop protecting the bullies and start protecting the bullied. Stop turning students away when they reach out for help. You could be saving a life, maybe even lives.
For the innocent students out there who have to deal with bullying, know that you have worth. For those who bully or are bystanders to bullying, you need to do better. For the school officials, hear your students out and put in the right amount of effort to effectively combat bullying. A change is long overdue.
Featured illustration by Jenise Jackson.