By: Marysa Mazanek
Everyday, millions of young kids around the world face hardships that change the course of their lives. Some children come from broken homes, face mental or physical disorders, or suffer from a lack of support. One issue that harms the well-being of many kids is bullying. Bullying is the act of harming another person in a physical or emotional way. Many believe that bullies only hurt others in school; however these hateful acts can occur anywhere such as public venues or more and more commonly, over the Internet. More needs to be done to prevent bullying from continuing, for the lives and well-being of these young kids depend on it.
Physical bullying is the act of hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, or damaging the property of another. Emotional bullying is leveling insults, criticisms, or aggressive demands against another. Both forms of bullying have lasting effects.
In the past and today, bullying has reached such a toll that children and young adults have taken their own life. Due to the lack of happiness from excessive bullying, these young kids find no other option other than to end the pain and suffering permanently. The lives of not only the kids are ruined, but the lives of their families and friends are forever changed. No mother wants to have to bury her own child. It is the worst pain imaginable, and no person deserves to have to resort to a permanent solution to a fixable problem.
One case of suicide that made national headlines was the story of Tyler Clementi. Clementi, an 18 year old college student at Rutgers University, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and another individual used a webcam to view Clementi kissing another man.
The roommate, Dharun Ravi, only spent 20 days in prison, needed to complete 300 hours of community service, and was forced to pay a fine. The other individual involved, Molly Wei, received parole and community service after entering into a plea-bargain agreement.
Another case of cyber bullying that resulted in suicide was the story of Ryan Halligan. A 12 year old boy from Essex Junction, Vermont, Halligan was tormented over the Internet by classmates. After receiving homophobic insults from various people, Halligan took his life by hanging himself. His body was later discovered by his older sister.
Jenk Atillasoy, a junior at Radnor High School, stated that “Kids are cruel human beings, and when it comes to suicide, the bullies not only ruin the lives of the victims, but also the lives of their friends and families.”However, when asked about what he would say if he encountered someone who was being bullied, Jenk simply said, “It gets better. You’re never going to see these people again after high school.”
The Radnor Township School District has taken many positive steps in preventing bullying from occurring within its hallways. The school holds bullying assemblies to inform the students of all the bad effects that result and how the act can destroy childhoods. In many instances the assemblies are beneficial.
Senior Ashley Bennett commented on the assemblies stating, “The stories of the speakers that come in are very helpful in knowing what the negative aspects of bullying are.” Many agree with Ashley’s point of view.
Although there is no doubt that bullying will continue throughout the country, more needs to be done in schools and in communities to prevent children and young adults from being bullied. It is an act that is harmful, senseless, and disgusting. Children are taking their lives everyday just to avoid the constant pain that arises. No one deserves to endure all of the emotions that come from the abuse, be it physical or emotional. Bullying is an awful act by heartless people. It must be stopped.