October marks ten years of anti-bullying efforts

Lily Osborne – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – This month marks the ten-year anniversary of National Bullying Prevention Month. Started by Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006, this campaign has brought much needed awareness to how serious bullying is around the U.S.

Bullying is a major issue for both children and young adults. No one wants to be put down or embarrassed by others, especially adolescents with heightened emotions.

More students are tormented by fellow peers than people may think. Nearly half of all students have or will be bullied during their school career.

Some bullies do not realize the long term effect of their words. LRHS freshman, Elise Sunderman said that bullying “makes you feel really bad about yourself, and it takes a long time to get back to how you were before.”

Bullying also has a lasting effect on the bullies themselves, it might take months or years, but almost all bullies regret the way they treated others.

Today the most common form of bullying is online. With social media garnering so much popularity, it is easy for students to become cyber bullies.  Bullying Statistics took a study that found about 42% of kids in the U.S. alone have been the victims of cyber bullying.

“Because everything is online it makes it that much easier for rumors to spread and for feelings to get hurt,” said Junior Lauren Wood.

Cyber bullying is so popular because anyone can hide behind a screen,  many of these cyberbullies would not have the confidence to bully people when they are face to face. LRHS has a zero tolerance policy for bullying of any kind.

Assistant principal Mike Mullen offered advice for students active on social media, “Before you send or post something, sit back and wait 24 hours and think about the ramifications.”

Once someone posts something mean online they cannot take it back. They can delete it or try to hide it, but it cannot be deleted from the victim’s memory.

If someone is getting bullied, the best thing to do is first assess the bully. Many teens who bully do so because they have a lack attention at home or have learned it from someone important to them.

Some bullies are not even aware that they are bullies. This is because they hang out with people that believe bullying is normal.

No matter the situation, bullying is not an acceptable behavior. Those finding themselves being bullied should immediately tell a parent or teacher that will help them stop their bully.