(Sourced from http://edudemic.com/2012/01/bullying/)
A Word to our Canadian Principals
Bullying is a problem that needs to be addressed informally on a daily basis and formally in an annual assembly by every school in Canada. Each principle at every Canadian school should be instructed to call an assembly and have a trained professional expose malicious, bullying behaviour for what it is; no one deserves to feel abused, isolated and without help, yet as many as one out of four students may have been bullied in school.
I am a strong believer no one should ever feel alone; we owe it to our youth to make them feel appreciated, loved, and cared for, with an ability to step back from abusive situations, be it bullying or other social interactions that are unacceptable; they need the tools to ask for help. We are finally as a society just understanding this
Effects of Bullying Not Limited to our Teen Years
Bullying has effects on people well out of their teens and into adulthood. I have seen this time and time again. Just one of the effects of bullying is that a very smart person may choose to avoid university because the experience the person had during high school was wretched and filled with episodes of mean, heartless acts by other teenagers. When such students cannot move beyond the hurt, they may end up feeling alienated from society as a whole, and their opportunity to contribute fully may be restricted, to the detriment of themselves and the society at large. Bullying, therefore, is not just affecting our youth, but our society as a whole. Our society inevitably loses when smart people choose to avoid more schooling and fail to receive a higher education.
At the heart of bullying, is that there may not be just superficial psychological and social scars left on the person being bullied. Bullying may leave the victimized person in a prisonlike shell. Being who the person is becomes discerned as punishable, and the person then hides his or her true self from his or her peer group.
A person’s selfhood cannot take harsh and cruel remarks forever. From my past experience, it was the emotional verbiage that hurt the most. If you are bullied, you know what to expect: harassing words, being chased, abused. Why should anyone experience any of this destructive behaviour?
A bully slowly destroys another person, and brings suffering.
If you are a bully, then you might as well classify yourself as an inconsiderate, mean coward. That being said, it is not too late to change your behaviour and help those who are being bullied. Stop bullying others and set a good example of looking after your schoolmates. Apologize.
A Word to Teachers in our Canadian School System
For every teacher who once was a student, you are well aware of the bullying that went on in your own elementary and high schools. Lend a hand, and do not be a bystander in your current position of responsibility. Make it a duty not to turn a blind eye to malicious behaviour by your school’s youth. If a kid you know is being bullied, or has become quiet, disinterested in their schoolwork, or is generally withdrawn, nervous, or exhibiting a drastic personality change, get them help right away. Stop a bully!
Are You Being Bullied?
Lastly, if you are being bullied, speak up about it to someone you trust. Even call a help line if there is no one else you feel comfortable speaking to. You are not weak for doing so, but courageous. Do not pretend everything is okay when you are suffering; life is too short to live in fear. There is help out there, I promise. Sending you courage and a warm hug your way. Get help!