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Bullying Research Paper

By hannah91895 Jan 12, 2014 1669 Words
No matter who you are in the world, at some point in your life you’ll experience some form of bullying. Whether it is in school or online, bullying is a serious issue and has significantly impacted many individuals and how they live their daily lives. This issue hits close to home because I’ve been bullied for as long as I can remember. I even conducted my own experiment on Facebook by posting a picture of my friends and I at the beach in our bathing suits on a page called, “The World’s Cutest Teens”. I knew that the picture would get some rude comments so I waited, and that’s exactly what happened. People began to call us rude names and basically told us that we were disgusting. I took a picture of all the rude comments and the picture of us and made a collage, I then reposted it on the page saying that I would use the information I found in my research paper. I said that it doesn’t matter who you are in the world, bullying still happens today and it needs to be addressed, that picture now has over 20,000 “likes” on Facebook and I’m receiving tons of messages from people saying how smart I am to have come up with this idea. Now although I didn’t take the rude comments to heart, there are still many people in the world that do. It hurts them and ruins their self esteem.

Bullying is a human rights violation. It is the abuse of the powerless by those who think they have all of the power. Bullying is the first human rights violation millions of students in the United States will confront. As a human rights organization, STTP [Speak Truth To Power] stated in a recent interview that they can’t simply ignore the fact that children aren’t able to get the proper education that they deserve because of bullies. They have to do their best to put a stop to as much bullying as possible. Two children in every classroom in America are estimated to miss at least one day of school each month because they feel unsafe. Local governments realize we cannot afford to dismiss youth violence as simply "kids being kids." Anti-bullying legislation has been passed in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. But laws and reporting systems aren't enough. We must move beyond simply having the systems in place to react to bullying. We must instill in our youth the ideals of civility and respect, and we must create environments that prevent bullying everywhere our children live, learn and play. (“Schools Have Work to Do”) However, bullying doesn’t just exist in school, bullying can happen anywhere at any time and people need to know what they can do to help prevent and stop the bullies from attacking. First, you want to make sure that the person being bullied informs someone that the bullying is occurring by telling a trusted adult. Then, if you haven’t already, confront the bully by telling them how what they’re doing to you is really upsetting and you would like it if they could please stop. If the bullying still continues, the best option is to let the bullies’ parents know what is happening so they can handle the situation. And if that still doesn’t work, you can always call the police and let them talk to the bully, most of the time bullies will stop their actions if they know they’ll get in serious trouble if they continue. (Kennedy, Kerry)

To many people, bullying is people saying rude things to each other face to face or having some sort of abusive contact with one another. However, this is not the case. As I stated in my personal story earlier, bullying also takes place on the internet [most commonly social networking sites]. This type of bullying is referred to as “cyberbullying”. Many people believe that cyberbullying isn’t a real issue; they say that it’s your own fault for continuing to stay on the social networking site you’re being bullied on, you could just simply shut your computer off. This of course is very unrealistic, teenagers shouldn’t have to delete their social networking sites, turn off their computers, and so forth just because of bullies. Teenagers should be able to enjoy talking to their friends and interacting without having to worry about bullies harassing them. (Foxman, Abraham) Cyberbullying has become a real threat, and parents and educators must work together to get rid of antisocial and harmful harassment and make such crimes punishable by law. There is currently a law being put into place, set to take effect next year. The law was passed in large part because of the tragic suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer of Williamsville. The 14-year-old killed himself last September after absorbing relentless bullying over his sexual orientation. Police at the time said that because of weaknesses in state law regarding cyberbullying, there was little they could have done for Jamey. The new law moves to rectify that. Had it been in place already, Jamey's story might have taken a different turn. Implemented properly and pursued diligently, it will no doubt prevent much misery in the future. The new law defines cyberbullying as harassment taking place through any electronic means and that "reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student." School districts would have a responsibility for incidents occurring on and off school grounds. It also creates a system for reports of cyberbullying to reach school principals or superintendents and requires prompt intervention by school officials. Schools will also be required to establish anti-cyberbullying policies and to report incidents to law enforcement if school officials believe the acts constitute criminal conduct. It also calls for training for teachers and administrators. (Ells,June)

This story leads me into my next point which is on teen suicide. As of early 2010, suicide was the third leading cause of death of those between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four and the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of ten and fourteen. According to the Southern California Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention, young females were more likely to attempt suicide, though males were about five times more likely to die by suicide. According to a 1996 report of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more young people died from suicide than from AIDS, birth defects, cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, influenza, pneumonia, and stroke combined. While the desire to commit suicide usually stems from a disorder such as depression, suicide is preventable. According to ABC News nearly 30 percent of students bully others or are victims of bullying. A report by Yale University in Connecticut indicates that victims of bullying are up to nine times more likely to consider suicide than their peers who are not bullied. Bullying comes in many forms and may include physical attacks, destruction of personal property, verbal abuse, starting rumors, name calling, and verbal attacks, which may be made in person, online, or through texting. Dr. Dan Olweus, a psychology professor from Norway and developer of the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program, says, "a person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself." Bullying is most common between the fourth and eighth grades. A new term, “bullycide” has recently been used to describe those who have committed suicide because of bullying. According to bullyingstatistics.org, suicide rates among adolescents are rising, particularly in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It’s sad to think that there are so many teenagers in the world that are being effected by bullying so much that they would consider taking their own lives. Suicide is not the answer; suicide is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. Since depression caused by bullying is one of the leading causes of teen suicide, treatment of this condition is often the first step to preventing suicide. Treatments may include counseling, residential treatment, and medication, though the latter should be used with caution. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has a "black box" warning, its most severe label, on all antidepressants. Research has shown that children and teens on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Experts recommend careful monitoring of young people on such medication. Those suffering from depression feel alone and helpless, so communication is vital. According to NAMI, about 80 percent of those who commit suicide exhibit warning signs or tell others of their intentions before they act. Any mention of death or suicide should be taken seriously. Many people believe that discussing suicide openly with someone who is contemplating suicide is wrong. In fact, asking someone openly about his or her plans is helpful. Asking questions such as, "Have you thought about how you would do it?" and "Do you have the means?" help determine the severity of the situation. Someone who discovers another's intention to commit suicide should immediately call 911 or take the individual to an emergency room or the nearest psychiatric facility. (“Teen Suicide”)

As stated before, bullying is a serious issue, not only in schools, but outside of schools too. Bullying can happen at anywhere, at anytime, to anybody, including on the internet. However there are many ways that we can help stop and prevent bullying and if there was some way we could stop bullying for good, we could all live in a better world and teenagers wouldn’t continue to take their own lives because someone is making them feel depressed or worthless. There is always someone that can help and if

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