Every person deserves a relationship where the other can’t stop talking about him/her and lets the whole world know how much they mean to them. Whether its family, friends, or just strangers in general, everyone feels appreciated when others are aware of it.. while relationships aren’t meant to be on display 24/7, they also aren’t meant to be hidden or kept in secret. make the world jealous of the one you’re with, not the one you’re with jealous of the world.
Now imagine yourself going to a new school or place to make a fresh start in life and the chance to make friends that could last a lifetime. Unfortunately for Amanda Todd this was not the case for her. It all started as a fun thing between her friends and the webcam, chatting with people online that they did not even know. That is until Amanda met someone online that she grew to appreciated and trust, especially since he made her feel wanted and good about herself, which led to the one mistake she made that people would hold against her for the rest of her life. Going from school to school, she was constantly bullied and ridiculed for the picture this man took of her, flashing him, which he exposed to everyone, everywhere she went. If you think the cruel names that she was called were bad, just think about some of the harsh ideas they were promoting her to do, such as killing herself because no one cared for her. After years of being bullied, and suffering from the loneliness and pain she felt, Amanda Todd committed suicide just shortly after posting a video on YouTube about her struggle.
Think about it. As you go on in your day to day life, everyone you come in contact with has either been bullied, has been the bully, or has known someone who has been bullied. While the topic of bullying has been quieter in the recent years, it is still a constant struggle and cruel act that has been going on in all ages everywhere. In this passage, I will talk to you about how bullying is a serious matter that needs to end. First, I will inform you on what bullying and cyber bullying is and how it affects everyone. Then, I will talk about some of the causes that create these horrible acts, and lastly, I will go over just a few of many possible solutions that can help in eliminating bullying in not only our own community but in the rest of the world as well.
Now we all know the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. However, this is not entirely the case. While bones can easily heal over time, the scars left behind caused by harsh actions and insults can remain on a person for the rest of their life as they are haunted by the nightmares they faced by being bullied. Bullying is a worldwide problem that can cause many victims to lose self-esteem and the hope for something better. Bullying is seen as a form of verbal, physical, and social abuse that happens in person everywhere. In fact, according to the Edmonton Journal on October 16, 2012, the total amount of bullying incidents seen each month is 282,000, and that is just in Canada alone. One example of a bullying incident was reported in the New Straits Times on March 15, 2012, where a group of bullies forced a kid to swallow a one centimeter needle while the teacher was not in class. As a result, the girl was later taken to the hospital by her parents where she was x-rayed and sent into urgent surgery to get the needle removed from her throat. Now while bullying may appear like one of the harshest circumstances anyone can face, cyber bullying can have an even horrible affect, if not worse, on someone’s life. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that takes place through email, text messages, and other forms of social media. Although it can be seen as a cowardly way of attacking someone as you are hiding being a screen while doing it, it can still be just as harmful especially when it promotes suicidal ideas through words and images as stated in the Dubbo Daily Journal on September 6, 2012. While most victims are told not to worry about it, because if the person cannot say it to their face then it is most likely not true, it can still have a huge negative affect on a person’s life. From my own experience, during my junior year of high school, just as I was recovering from some rough times, I was even attacked anonymously on the internet. Getting paragraphs to pages long of insults can have a greater toll on a person than expected, especially when it contains comments such as being told that you are not loved, no one likes you, and the world would be better off without you. When I first read those on my own screen, I just sat there in complete and utter shock wondering who could say something like that and why to me? What did I even do to deserve this? While some would say to just move on from the problem, because it is not true, it took months for me to finally get over it, and I still carry the scars of those words as they haunt me from time to time in my daily life.
Now with the harm that is seen through bullying, what can possibly be causing people to do such a horrible thing? Well on October 11, 2012, The Portales, News-Tribune reported that while bullying can happen in any age, most young kids who bully see it happen as they observe adults and older kids outside of school. In addition, as they continue to bully, they find it easy to get away with as most victims and witnesses are too afraid to speak up in fear of being ridiculed or labeled themselves. As this happens mainly in schools, where students are able to come together in one environment, most bullying is a result of the bullies having low self-esteem rather than high self-esteem most of the time. As a result, most bullies tend to bully others in order to cover up their own scars or to place them on another in order to hide the pain and suffering they feel themselves.
So now that we know what bullying is and what causes it, what are some ways we can prevent it from happening? One important way we can prevent bullying from happening is by educating parents, teachers, and students about it. In fact, the more people learn and talk about bullying, and how it affects others, the more ways of prevention can happen. One way a teacher explained what bullying can do to a person to her class was through using the analogy of crumpling up a piece of paper. In this, she told her students to take a nice clean sheet of paper and to crumple it up and stomp on it many times, but to not rip it. After they did that, she told them to unfold and smooth out the paper, and to notice all the scars left on the paper. After she told them to apologize to the paper, she made them realize that even after bullying someone, the scars will never go away no matter how many times you apologize and no matter what you do to try and fix it. In addition to this, many schools also hold National Bullying Awareness Month where they inform the students on how bad bullying is and what it can do to a person. However, while I think this is a great idea, I feel like it should be a constant reminder throughout the whole year as students can easily forget what they learn after just a month of awareness. Furthermore, as bullying has become such a huge issue, especially in schools, I feel like we need to take this issue out of the darkness and bring it into the light by promoting laws against it. Think about it. If we made bullying an equal crime to issues such as racism and homophobia, it can help in promoting anti-bullying laws as laws against bullying can create tougher consequences for bullies and clearer expectations for school officials to take the issue more seriously. Finally, one of the last of many things you can do, especially as a parent, is to give children enough praise that can help boost their self-esteem and promote positive behavior which can reduce actions of bullying others.
Amanda Todd was not just a girl who lived in Canada until her death. She was a voice crying out for help that went unheard. While it took many people and actions to kill her, it could have taken just one person to stand by her side and save her. Now if her story does not impact the rest of the world, I do not know what will. All I just know is that bullying needs to come to an end before another innocent life does.