A Growing Epidemic in High School | Teen Ink

A Growing Epidemic in High School

April 28, 2012
By Anonymous

Imagine being a terrified freshman on the first day of high school. Expectations range like points on a scatter plot. You are not quite sure where to go and dread getting in the way of the returning pupils. You feel insecure and out of place. It is all so surreal and burdensome. Suddenly, you long for the eighth grade again, when you were at the top of the social food chain. You then think to yourself, how can this get any worse? Then, completely out of nowhere, a delinquent senior smashes you up against a locker and disperses your books in all different directions, barks a derogatory name at you, and leaves the scene clamoring with his band of friends. It’s official: you have a bully.

This is only a little taste of a daily occurrence for several inauspicious students. Some students are mocked, tormented, and/or abused relentlessly by abhorrent bullies. Some are even tortured by several hoodlums simultaneously. In some cases, bullying has gotten so malicious that teenagers have been deterred from attending school because of these enduring conditions. The students opt to say home in order to avoid being a target for the pranks and punches of the bully and sacrifice falling behind on school work to do it. Some victims have even resorted to suicide to end their sufferings. It is mind boggling how terrible conditions must be in order for a student to even contemplate suicide as a solution to a problem. Yet, the question still lingers: Why do the bullies continue to bully?

Bullies ascertain, what they consider, the weak and peculiar students. Bullies consider if these students are homosexual, lack a decent sense of fashion, or have an odd, feeble physical appearance. They select these students because they are different, and that gives the bully the pretense that they are superior. Bullies single out and exacerbate a flaw in others so that others do not see their flaws. The bullies are extremely self-conscious and insecure and therefore, lower other children’s self-esteem in order to raise theirs. They may use their physical stature to compensate for a lacking mental attribution. They break their victim’s strength in order to give the illusion that it is a weakness because the bully does not possess that characteristic. It suddenly all makes sense why the burly, incompetent bullies make fun of the intelligent “nerds.” However, this still does not justify their actions.

Students who have bullies should remember to stay strong and become the better person. They should not try to fight back or seek revenge. Instead, targets should tell a trusted teacher or administrator at the school about their problem. They must not be afraid to talk to someone about their problems because that is the only way the issue will be resolved. Another crucial point to be remembered is that bullies seek a reaction from their prey. If students ignore the bully and don’t give flamboyant expressions of emotions, the bullying may eventually cease. Suicide or self- inflicted pain must be never the answer.

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This article has 4 comments.

mplo said...
on Jan. 7 2016 at 8:43 am
I have to disagree with this article on at least a couple of fronts. First, as another poster on here has succinctly and articulately pointed out, this particular article points out the typical stereotype of a bully; the six-foot upperclassman who bullies somebody smaller and younger than they (i. e. a Freshman.). Secondly, while it's agreed that suicide or self-harm are never the answers to bullying, not responding in some way to the bully isn't always the right way to go, either. Bullies have to be put in their place, and seeking the help of teachers or other adults in position of authority doesn't necessarily and always work, either. First, teachers and other school staff are often negligent, due to being too overwhelmed with other stuff, or are purposely indifferent to the victim's plight. Secondly, when a bully gets word of having been told on, it often makes him/her even more aggressive. One solution to the problem would be for schools to offer courses in self-defense, and self-assertiveness, to help victims of bullying to gain more self-confidence and thereby reduce their likelihood of being a target for such bullies. Next, bullying isn't always physical; it often takes the form of nasty teasing, doing nasty little things that're hard for the victims to spot (such as one making like they don't see his/her victim and deliberately walking right into them.), or being completely ostracized, or the setting up of the rest of a crowd against a specific student by spreading malicious (often untrue) gossip about him/her. Next, bullies, whether they resort to physical or psychological bullying, aren't necessarily and always the big strapping upperclassman/woman. Bullies come in all sizes and shapes, and grades, if one gets the drift.

on Feb. 9 2015 at 1:09 pm
isela_renee BRONZE, Defiance, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
The author tells about a stereotypical high school experience with bullies. He or she talks about the fear that comes along with taking those first steps into high school, and why certain kids are picked on more than others. Although I agree that high school can be a scary, intimidating place I don’t think that it is as bad as the article makes it out to be. Bullying does occur, and it definitely is a terrible act that needs to come to an end. Suicide or self-harm, I also agree, are never an answer to being bullied. I think that people need to be more educated on the subject of bullying, and hopefully this would eventually make bullying come to an end. All people deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, regardless of their looks, religion, race, physical stature, or emotional condition.

on Aug. 13 2013 at 9:38 pm
bookmouse BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 article 90 photos 251 comments
*By writing from a more unique perspective...

on Aug. 13 2013 at 9:37 pm
bookmouse BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 article 90 photos 251 comments
Your article is well written, but it has the common flaws I would expect a teen who sees bullying everyday to aviod. It feels like something 2D an adult without real experience with bullying would write, I am sure you have experience that could give your essay a more interesting perspective. I wish you had presented new ideas and solutions to solve or prevent bullying situations. In my opinion, your definition of bullying is not inclusive enough (you seem to be mostly talking about big bullies that punch and taunt, what about gossip. Bullies aren't always stupid and brawny...I'd love to introduce you to some of my classmates or at least make you read my mauscript...). By writing a more unique perspective, suggesting new solutions ("telling a teacher or administrator" is not a new solution) or at least updating your definition would bring your article up a notch from a school assignment feel to something great. Your essay is very good for what it is, but I think it has the potential be even better! :)