Talking about bullying is such a broad topic that can be connected to all forms. Social media bullying, school bullying, workplace bullying even bullying from home – it’s all bullying. No matter where it comes from, it falls under the same name: Bullying. No matter where it’s coming from they are equally as important as one another.
Unfortunately society is aware that bullying is a problematic situation and we still are yet to get it under wraps. We all have a story where we have been a victim of bullying, if you ask anyone there has been an experience that they can connect to bullying and it can often be a sensitive topic for them. Even those who seemed to be able to fly through school without being targeted, they may have been that target at home, and if not it has happened at the workplace for them – or even online, and in some cases for someone it can be ALL of those options.
I find it hard to talk about my experience because I have denied that I had a bullying experience for a long time, even when I moved schools I told people that I was doing fine at my prior school just because I didn’t want to become a target again, I didn’t want to not fit in. I was the severe target at school. If you picked on me, you were cool. My mum used to walk me to and from school because I couldn’t even get on the school bus, I removed all of my social media, I moved schools – you name it.
I was one of those kids that actually didn’t do anything to have this caused other than being a kid who wanted to be liked by the ‘popular’ kids and discovering that they were not the kinds of friends that you would want – that didn’t go down so well, this unfortunately followed me for my entire school life after that – from primary through to high school.
Bullying still existed back in the day but parents could in fact move their children to different schools if they were dealing with a bullying case and that may have solved the problem. The problem wouldn’t continue on through the cyber world. However, these days, social media is what connects people. If you move your child from A to B school, people from B school will have connections with people from A school and it will trail on from there. You can’t escape these circumstances anymore, you can’t switch off. These children are continually dealing with their harassment and torment at school and after school, 24/7.
In my situation, I moved from A school to B school, and it felt like a fresh start. It was incredible, no one knew me and the ‘popular’ kids seemed so kind. A new girl started at the school after me and I gained a friendship with her. Then guess what? She moved to the school that I had problems with, she asked people if they knew me because we were close friends – and all hell broke loose. She turned into my worst bully, funnily enough. I got harassed after school, even if I went grocery shopping with my family and I ran into people from A or B school they would harass my family and myself.
When I had prank calls, my mother would take my phone off of me and talk with them to tell them to stop contacting me and they would abuse my mother and call her all the names under the sun. They had absolutely no respect and no fear of my family.
This is where school authority kicks in and really grind my gears. On the news I see children committing suicide and the schools saying that they had “no idea” or they were “in movement of placing a stop on the situation”. Here is reality:
Reality example 1 (True story):
When I was going through school it became pretty bad and I decided to see the school counselor. What does the counselor do? Pull the kids I named out of class to come see her, while I was there, and told them everything that I had said and told them to say sorry. Really? Come on. Safe to say soon as we left the counselors office, matters became a whole lot worse for the next coming years. Fun times.
Reality example 2 (True story):
When I showed the school principal social media messages of my harassment, they said there was nothing that they could do about it because it is off school grounds. What the hell is wrong with the education system?
When they say it is off of the school grounds and they cannot do anything, we should not be taking this for a excuse. This is the education system not wanting to take ownership and take life by the balls and shake these kids into line. These generations of kids know no boundaries, no control, no respect for authority. It should matter, regardless if it is off school grounds or not – they are still all students of their school and they should address these problems while they are risen, because the amount of suicides that are happening to these young children is absolutely ridiculous. Children are taking their lives because they believe there is no silver lining, they believe the torment will never end and that the rest of their lives are unattainable.
It’s hilarious when schools say that they have a “No bullying” rule, yet they do shit all when a bullying circumstance arises – they have absolutely no clear steps on how to fix it, when really, if they cared more about their students happiness and wellbeing, this would not be as out of hand as it is in this day and age. It’s simple. If they at the very least enforced:
1. Not letting these large groups sit together in class
2. Not letting those groups hang around together on breaks – break. them. up.
3. Detentions – alllll the detentions
4. Serious disciplinary actions if continued (e.g. expel the student)
Also, rule out in sport where they let the students pick who they want on their teams, when those few students get left last, it is just deliberately alienating them from the rest of the class. Why is this even allowed?
For those kids struggling with severe bullying, why are school speeches still a thing? Do they not understand how hard it would be to stand up in front of their bullies – why do they push it?
There is no acknowledgment for children who are struggling especially when it is impacting their education, this is impacting the way that they learn, the way that they develop in such an impressionable age. Children are struggling to focus in classrooms because they are uncomfortable and in a negative environment, who’s fault is this? Who can control this situation – can parents? Can counseling? Will telling bystanders who also don’t want to get involved help? (Telling a child to step up and tell them to stop is not a solution) No, the damn school can control this and fix this.
When I graduated from school a couple years ago, that day was a day that I will never be able to forget. I felt such pride in myself, that no matter what I went through I did it – I finished the entire way (I wanted to drop out and boy did I try as well). I am so thankful that I persevered and I am so thankful that I wasn’t growing up in the generation that children are now which is where committing suicide is so hugely common, I probably would have had the wrong ideas in my head.
I am absolutely disgusted in how even after all those years that I experienced with no school assistance in my bullying or others, that this it is still even a problem. But it’s an even bigger problem now that the suicide rate is so large and still there is no involvement.
What are parents supposed to do? There is nothing that they can do, they trust that their children will be looked after for those 5 out of 7 days. Parents can only do so much. The best thing that schools can come up with is that parents need to supervise what their children do on social media. Social media is torment, but if their social media is removed (which I highly recommend, it really does support the “Out of sight, out of mind” quote) all you would need is the schools guidance and you would be a lot better off.
I truly am so sorry for those children that are struggling right now with bullying, I can only hope that you have the support that you need. For me, I found comfort at home – if you have any passions, follow them, let them surround your thoughts and get taken away into your passions and hobbies when you get home and on weekends. My mum was very much so involved in my day to day life, every step of the way. I found removing all forms of social media really assisted in my mental health, as I found myself waking up at ridiculous hours in the night/morning and investigating all my platforms to make sure that no one has posted or said anything mean about me. It was unhealthy, and it took a while to adjust once removing myself from it – but it helped tremendously.
The best advice that I can give you is that when you hit graduation day, your whole world is going to brighten up. You can kiss those assholes goodbye and move forward while they will spend years trying to impress each other, go out, trying to keep their circle together because they have absolutely nothing else going for them. You will blossom and they will still be doing the same ol’ shit.
P.S. Schools – Get your shit together, these kids AND parents need your help.