Viewpoint: Bullying hurtsEveryone has experienced bullying before, whether you were the bully, the one being bullied or the innocent bystander who watched it happen. I sometimes find myself wondering why kids bully their peers. Does it make them feel good? Do they think it’s cool to act tough? In reality, bullying doesn’t solve anything; it only creates issues, fighting and tension among peers.
By: Ashley Yaritz, South Washington County Bulletin
Everyone has experienced bullying before, whether you were the bully, the one being bullied or the innocent bystander who watched it happen. I sometimes find myself wondering why kids bully their peers. Does it make them feel good? Do they think it’s cool to act tough? In reality, bullying doesn’t solve anything; it only creates issues, fighting and tension among peers.
Bullying can be anything from verbal abuse to physical violence. It can include name-calling, teasing and alienation, violent acts such as fist fights, threats and harassment. Bullying can progress and get a lot worse as time goes on, unless it is stopped.
Bullies often have a low self-esteem and tend to hurt others in hopes of making themselves feel better. I believe that the best way to deal with a bully is confrontation. Tell them how you feel about the situation and ask them to stop the harassment. If it continues, get a teacher or parent involved.
From personal experience, I know that being bullied has a huge effect on a kid’s self-esteem and confidence. In elementary school, myself and a few other kids used to play four square every day at recess. One game that everyone hated was Cherry Bomb. In this particular game, the king of the square throws the ball hard and far across the blacktop and you have to run, grab it and get back in twenty seconds. One day, we had a few new kids that wanted to play with us.
One of the boys, who happened to be a little bit heavier than average, stepped in to play. The kid who had the ball decided to throw a Cherry Bomb, and the heavy kid started running to get the ball. The other kids began to yell rude chants such as “run fatboy, run” and “here comes the Pillsbury dough boy.” When he returned, one boy even poked him in the stomach. I was shocked by their actions and took a stand. I said, “Why are you picking on him? He doesn’t deserve that.” The boy who had poked him said, “Yeah, whatever, you don’t know anything.” I responded back with, “You’re only picking on him because you’re trying to make yourself feel good, and I feel sorry for you.” He didn’t know how to respond to me, so he remained silent. The heavier boy had run off in the direction of the school.
Right then, the bell rang. When I got inside, I noticed that he wasn’t in class, so I asked my teacher where he was. She went to look for him, and found him in tears in an empty classroom that was used for storage. I was then questioned by the principal and the kids who had been harassing him were punished. They never teased him again.
The only good thing that came out of the situation was the fact that those kids had a learned a lesson, and instead of being an innocent bystander, I had taken action and stopped the bullying. Most bullies are very surprised when someone stands up to them, and actually listen to what their confronter has to say. One day I hope all bullies learn their lesson and realize that bullying hurts.
Ashley Yaritz is a ninth-grader at Cottage Grove Junior High School.