Nikita Wozniak ‘20, Circulation Manager
Every year, between 1 in 4 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. Over the years, however, there have been fewer reports. Although there are fewer reports, this does not mean it does not still occur. While you may think you are just making a joke or poking fun, some things you say could have drastic, harmful effects on someone else.
Children and teens who are bullied have a very high chance of experiencing negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Counselor Mrs. Beth Wallace believes the worst thing about bullying is that “It can cause some long term anguish for another student and the effects can last forever. That and the fact that some people are so insensitive to the feelings of others.” People with a past of being bullied are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. These damages to their mental health could follow them into adulthood. They are more likely to miss or skip events, even if they are extremely important or urgent.
Some people have even died due to the consequences of bullying. For instance, a 13-year-old boy from California was pronounced dead in September after sustaining injuries from being punched and pushed into a concrete pillar. This 13-year-old, Diego (last name was not publicized), had been reportedly bullied prior to the incident that would lead to his death. The two other boys who caused the incident were arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, but this will not undo their poor decisions and actions.
While this was an extreme case of physical bullying, that does not mean the verbal or mental forms of bullying should be taken lightly. Senior Ashley Koth was asked what she thought the worst part of bullying is as well, and she replied, “It is the way it degrades other people. It breaks them down and destroys so much.” So many people have suffered from the consequences of other people’s behavior.
Our job as students at South Lyon High School is to make sure no more accidents like Diego’s happen. We need to stick up for those who can not or do not know how. If we hear or see any reports of bullying, they should be taken seriously. Bullying is no joke, and we need to stop treating it like one.
If you feel you are being bullied, see someone being bullied, or just need someone to talk to, tell an adult as soon as possible. The school counselors, teachers, and principals’ doors are always open.
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times