Marissa Radtke ‘19, Layout Director
Kids getting pushed around in the halls, gossiping amongst students, and rumors being spread. These are just some examples of bullying that is happening right now in this school. Everywhere around schools, there are so many posters about how teachers are always there to talk and help if you are getting bullied. The posters always add how approachable our teachers are, but are they really that approachable? Are they ever actually there to help take action against the bully? Almost every time the answer is no.
In most elementary schools there is a rule where you have to ask the bully to stop at least three times before you go and see the teacher. If the teacher was asked to help, they would ask if stop was said at least three times. However, this rule is one of the least helpful or effective things to tell someone who is getting bullied. Most of the time telling someone to stop never works. Bullies pick their victims knowing their weakness and often it is hard for someone to stand up for themselves. Senior Reagan Taylor said, “I was bullied in the first grade and my teacher did nothing about it the first few times I told her it was happening. When the girl was finally sent to the principal’s office, she didn’t even get reprimanded.” When the school does nothing it teaches kids that what they are doing is acceptable.
Teachers also have a philosophy where they think it would be best for kids to work it out themselves. The logic behind it is that they are treating students like they were adults but this often fixes nothing. Students are immature, young, and naive. Students are learning and they need someone to teach them between right and wrong. If the student has told the teacher that they are getting bullied obviously they have probably done everything they could themselves to make it stop. Freshman Jeremy Kilgore had the same type of experience with bullying, “Being bullied sucks and it doesn’t help when the school acts like they care when they really don’t”, he said.
If schools want the bullying problem to be fixed it all starts with them—the staff. They need to start standing up for the kids. Often kids are too scared to go to the adults because often nothing is done about it. The policies and philosophies teachers are using right now is not working. In reality, kids can not work this issue out between themselves. The way teachers handle issues in schools, sets examples for the way students should handle certain issues. Bullying exists and it is time for teachers to step up and take action against the issue.
Photo courtesy of Tech Explorist