Say NO to Bullying

   The American Psychological Association describes bullying as “a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.” This could be either mental or physical pain.   There are a lot of instances in which people say things that are unkind, however they end up regretting what they said. Bullies never regret what they do because they do it out of intention.   Experts from the McGovern Medical School have proven that about 15.7% of high school students have been bullied online in the last 12 months. In regards to Nixa High School, which has around 2,000 students, that would mean about 314 students have been electronically bullied.   Bullying not only happens online but in person too. The need to fill the silence in the classroom consistently results in comments that can be mentally harmful. As a student, I can confirm that high school students are unnecessarily mean to simply come across as a conversationalist. Urges to feel heard can be difficult to fight.   However, the words that come out of the human mouth have immense power over the mind of the recipient. This stands true in both positive and negative comments.   The laugh of a student is music to the ears of a bully. Hearing the response of a laugh can lead to feeling powerful. The power is the sheer reason that bullies continue to be unkind. The bystanders tend to sit in their own laughter for fear of being the next victim. Rather than showing courage through kindness, they watch the bullying scene unfold in front of them.   I would venture to say that everyone reading this has witnessed a bully. What did you do? I do not ask this question for you to look back, and feel bad about your quickened decision. However, I think it is important to have awareness about these situations.   “One out of every five students between the ages of 12 and 18 has experienced bullying at some point.” This is a study that has been published by The National Center of Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   Due to the high rates of bullying, it is not unheard of for large numbers of students to deal with this unkind behavior. It is a pressing issue that needs to be thoroughly addressed and handled. Kids of this current generation have a natural tendency to be mean.   Kindness is so incredibly important. It is not hard to shine a light in the world. Kindness is contagious, and spreading kindness can help the people around you see hope in the face of a bully.   Researchers from UCLA have found that, “in a world that today seems overloaded with fractured discourse, hate speech, hate crimes, tension and trauma we all benefit from the reminder that our own positive actions have rippled effects.” I think this is such a good and simple way to put it. With all of the craziness that the world throws at you, it’s essential to be reminded of the importance of showing kindness.   Overall, bullying can be extremely harmful to the minds of students. Showing kindness can help overthrow the number of bullies that strike. Kindness can ultimately overcome the evil that the world is currently drowning in. So if you ever feel the need to make unkind comments, or to bully someone, remember… don’t fill the silence; say NO to bullying.