Where Has Treating the Bullies Gone Wrong?

Presentation by Kevin Nguyen and Katelynn Tran

Bullying. We all see it. We all experience it. But many of us do not do much about it. The thought of taking a stand against the person or group of people hurting us may be an intimidating action but if we let it persist, who knows what will happen to many who get bullied today.

Depression and anxiety. The leading causes of teenage suicide. Bullying today is not an issue of whether one should or not fight back and tell the teacher but rather, it is one in which can only lead to a terrible ending if not dealt with correctly. Yes, although many can come to an adult for bullying, if one thinks about it, does anything really happen?

The issue at hand with bullying today is that it is being addressed incorrectly. Usually, the targets of bullying are told to just accept it because it is a part of growing up while the bully is just met with a minor punishment and told not to do it again.

First off, for an adult to disregard a child’s problems will almost definitely install within them a sense of worthlessness. They are told that the bad things happening to them are just a normal part of life but does their parents really know the substantial effects that it has on the developing child’s mind? Yes, although many parents have gone through bullying throughout their adolescent years, the idea of bullying has shifted dramatically. Back then, there was only one form of bullying: confrontational bullying where the bully would intimidate and/or scare the target right in front of them. The target of bullying knows clearly who the person bullying them is and can actually do something about it whereas nowadays, the field of bullying has expanded vastly with the introduction of the internet.

Cyberbullying. A new form of bullying that has hit the recent decade where a person now no longer has to be physically present  to bully someone. If one comes to think about it, bullying can be seen as a sport where the “superiors” pick on those who are inferior, those who are different, those who are lacking. The field of bullying has now expanded beyond what was once there. Instead of having to face the person that one is causing harm to, with the increasing accessibility of technology, they can enter the online world anonymously and discredit and dehumanize those who they want to bully. Not only that but this time, the playing field has grown tremendously. Whereas in the past, bullying situations would only be school or community wide, now, with the easy access to technology, the effects of bullying can be seen everywhere. A person who insults and demoralizes a victim here can be aided by those in another country all across the world. With the easy access of the internet, bullying can now reach new heights as more and more people can come in and attack the victim. The numbers of bullies and bystanders have grown tremendously with the introduction of technology when the number of targets of bullying stays the same.

Punishments. Whenever a person is met with bullying issues, they are usually encouraged to go and tell an adult. They are told to find help in an older person so that the bully stops targeting them. But as depicted in many Hollywood movies, and even in real life, the outcome is usually less than expected. In fact, it is the opposite of what the victim wanted. Although the bully will get “punished” for bullying, it will only drive that child to obtain more vengeance and power over the child that told on them. Simply punishing a child for bullying another kid is not always the case towards stopping this behavior altogether. Yes, although punishments do discourage people from doing unattractive actions, punishing a kid for bullying will not address the root cause of bullying. Many adults do not take the time out to find out what is going on with the bully and instead, take the easier route of fixing the problem on the surface and then letting the child go without having him learn anything.

The field for bullying has expanded vastly. So for an adult to say that bullying is a natural part of life is misinformed about the latest effects that it has on children because more and more victims of bullying are falling further and further into depressions and anxiety. Rather, to solve the problem of bullying, one should place a bully, the victim, and a few students in a room together, with an adult for supervision, to encourage discussion between the multiple parties as to why it is they do what they do. To create conversation, to create support, to create understanding. Placing them in a group will allow for everyone to understand both themselves and others on a deeper level. Not only will it help the victim confront the bully but it may even help them understand the actions of the bully themselves in which they may be able to help. It is time to change what many see as the issue of bullying and lets focus on fixing this idea of dealing with bullying!

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