I know that everyone has heard a lot about bullying in the last year. I know that everyone is probably sick about hearing about bullying. I also have noticed that no one is actually doing much of anything to stop bullying. It's almost as though we think drawing attention to bullying is enough.
If anything drawing attention to bullying can be worse. Kids are weird that way. I know this from personal experience. The more you stand up and try and prove to people that bullying isn't going to have any affect the more people bully. Our society is almost programmed to shoot down the people that stand up and try and make change in any direction.
It's noble to think that the kids that think that beating on other kids will suddenly stop. They wont. It's wonderful to think that girls will suddenly not make fun of or destroy other girls. They wont.
They wont until. This is a big until. They will not stop bullying until they are held accountable for their actions. Something severe needs to be in place before bullying will stop. We need to come up with reasons why kids wont bully. We need kids to understand that there are severe consequences for their actions. (You think that a suicide is teaching a bully? It doesn't. From personal experience, the bully gets up the next day and gets to act as though they thought you were awesome, and didn't understand why you couldn't take a little bit of joking around. Please do not think that this is a severe punishment for the bullies. It just punishes everyone that loves you.)
They will not stop until the parents themselves stop. When parents make comments, even about celebrities, kids listen. When mother gossip with one another while their children play in the hallway, they can hear you. When dads use derogatory words against other people, the kids are listening. This is behaviour that we don't think is wrong. We don't think that saying things in the comforts of our own home teaches them that it's okay to say it outside the home, but it does.
We can't be nice to everyone. We can't. That's just the way it is. What we can be is more careful in how we say things. We can be more careful about who we say it around. And in this day and age we can be more careful about what we say it on.
This is an overly passionate subject for me. Since the age of 12 I was horribly bullied. I can only be thankful for the fact that when I was in high school the internet wasn't cool. It was lame. So no one used online bullying. I can't imagine how it is now. We need to come up with a better way. I don't have the answers, but I hope that we can find some.