By Giddel Domigo
Instructor Danny Wyatt
Leeward Community College-Wai’anae
[Note from the instructor: The assignment was for students to write a research paper using their three previous essays as a basis. The topic is “Bullying,” and it started with a video on bullying I showed to the class. They then wrote a cause/effect essay concentrating on the effects of bullying. The second essay was to examine why people (kids) bully one another — looking at the process that kids go through when they become bullies. The final paper was a persuasive essay on what should be done to address this issue: put all three together, cite them, develop the cited idea, and “voila” they have a research paper (more or less). -Danny Wyatt]
A big reason why kids bully is because it’s a cry for attention. A lot of these kids seek attention because they’re spoiled and insecure. These kids think they can get whatever they want and find value more often in materialistic objects, but they become insecure because they often don’t have many or real friends. So they seek attention by picking on others to feel better about themselves. Kids who are lonely are more likely to seek attention. Basically, these kids are lonely because they have trouble communicating and are making friends the wrong way. Instead of making friends by being nice, they tend to be blunt and pick at the sensitive subjects about others, in other words, by being bullies. Other kids want to feel superior which is why they seek to be noticed. Next, these kids start thinking they’re weak, but to stop feeling insecure they think it’s better to be superior and rule others. It’s like they’re the alpha-male of a wolf pack. They just command others to do what they want and if they don’t get what they want, they bully others to appear rougher and tougher until they do. They can’t find ways to get attention other than through picking on others.
An even bigger reason why kids bully is because they feel compelled to rebel. Most kids are rebellious because they have strict parents. It’s more likely for these kids to rebel against rules when they have strict parents, which is why they tend to behave in a way that causes them to not be nice to other kids and bully them. Other kids can be rebellious because of peer pressure. Now these other kids tend to rebel because of other kids and bullies. A prime example is because other bullies are making them think bullying is okay and then the bullies pressure them to become a bully themselves as well or they‘ll be bullied. Basically, they have to choose to be the bully or be bullied. Furthermore, what causes kids to be rebellious is to seek attention. These are the kids that think the only way to get others attention is to do something bad like pick on other kids because there is no one else to pick on. The rebellious ones don’t want to feel like they’re being held down or locked up so they think that the way to feel better is bullying.
Kids in an abusive home life are one of the biggest reasons why kids bully. Most abusive home lives is caused by parents who abuse substances. These parents tend to not care about how they raise their children, so not only do they abuse substances, they end up abusing their children. For instance, when substance abusing parents get high or drink they won’t take anything serious then beat their child for no reason. That child will express their feelings by bullying. Divorced parents also make for an abusive home life. Now these parents tend to be incapable of maintaining stability in their relationship, which means they’re not the best at knowing how to take properly care of children. For example with divorced parents, one parent holding a grudge against the other one will want to take it out on their child because all they do is remind them of why they got a divorce. Other home lives are abusive due to poor family structure, which are the ones that emotionally unstable with parents or a parent that are unfit to take care of children. Furthermore, these families and parents tend to have psychological issues which is why their family structure is so poor. The parents usually have a bad relationship with their kids and fight often so the kids feel like the only way to express themselves is to abuse other kids. They find that the best way to express themselves and escape from their abusive home life is to bully other kids.
People become in many ways and one of the most known ways is kids who are ignored.
These kids have parents who don’t care about their children so that the kids act out seeking attention, but since the kids don’t have caring parents who teach them about morals, they act out in a way that’s frowned upon by bullying others. Because the kids think that the only way to get attention is bullying and their parents don’t care to stop it, bullies continue to do what they like. Worse than that, having a bad home life is another way kids become bullies. These are the kids that are abused mentally and physically, instead of being ignored. Worse than not being paid attention to, their parents yell at them using foul language, or physically hurt them like yelling to force them to do chores or hitting them if they don’t obey. Since home is where they have no control, they want power and control by expressing their anger and sadness by doing to others what’s been done to them, thus becoming bullies.
Kids becoming bullies are not the only part of the problem. The other half are the kids who get bullied. Kids who are different are the most likely to get picked on. There are those who choose to be different and those who don’t have that choice. Some kids don’t mind being different because it’s who they are, liking activities that have to do with school or religion, enjoying fantasy shows and video games. But bullies don’t agree much with those who are different, so the kids who choose to be smart or good at something get bullied because the bullies are either jealous or annoyed. Furthermore, there are the kids who don’t have a choice in being different. They’re either born physically or mentally different, which usually means they’re incapable of certain things like socially or physically. Seeming like an easy target or just different attracts bullies. So there’s obviously a problem with the bullies and the bullied, yet it’s what happens and the reactions are what lead these problems to go on and eventually get worse.
The common reaction by the bullied is that they’re helpless and hope that the bullies will get bored and leave them alone or move on to others, but that’s where they’re wrong. The bullies reaction to that is that it becomes easier to bully them, so they do it more and more because they like the feeling of having power and control of situations and objects like people in their lives.
The bullies enjoy and embrace the power they have and continue to bully in ways such as controlling others or being feared, whichever is most effective or makes them feel better. They also think it makes them popular because they’re well known for their bullying even though it’s more like infamy, but they won’t stop because they enjoy expressing their feelings this way and don’t really know others ways to when it’s easier to just stick to what they already know. As for the bullied, they develop more and more fear each day this goes on. They get mentally and physically sick of the constant harassment and even start to miss classes and school thinking it’s they’re only way to hide from the bullies, but they do not realize the severity of their situation so they either play it off as nothing and hope for the best or try to take it thinking they can handle it. Eventually if the bullying goes on for way too long, people are changed, bullies are monsters, the bullied are traumatized, and situations are easy to take a turn for the worst.
The bullied start to think that the only ways to express themselves is self-harm after being depressed from the non-stop bullying. Possibilities of developing a psychological or mental illness is increased and if the constant bullying goes well over the edge it can lead to great lengths of irrational actions such as homicide and suicide. Most don’t see this coming because the bullied usually keep it to themselves and find the only way to express their feelings killing themselves or others.
To start, in Hawaii there have been many schools that have taken action to step up against the problem, but some schools don’t get it immediately right. For instance, Treena Shapiro, freelance writer and editor of Honolulu Magazine, reports how the penalties for bullies in Hawaii’s public and private schools are not doing enough to effectively stop the problems (“When your kid is the bully”). What’s uncanny is that most of the bullying stops for only a while and then later continues, also, other bullies just continue picking on kids that don’t send them to the counselor’s office. Even worse, when bullying is approached inconsiderately, it can be noticed not only all over the state of Hawaii, but even in another country. An article in The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reports about the unfair punishment of cheerleaders attending a high school in Hawaii accused of cyber-bullying, whereas assaulting football players and verbally abusing volleyball players are left unpunished after clearly bullying others (“Cheerleaders accused …”). The pressing issue must have been quite controversial if it was published in a newspaper all the way in the UK. Apparently, the administration of the Hawaii school thought that they’re being serious by coming down hard on them but the cheerleaders and their parents feel that this pretentious overreaction was unjust if others have committed equal or worse torment and have been left unpunished. With numerous issues of bullying going unsolved, Hawaii could end up dealing with even more traumatizing situations in the near future.
Now due to ongoing and unresolved bullying issues, Hawaii faces the frightening possibility of dealing with greater distressing issues similar to those shown in a heartbreaking movie, “Bully,” showing the stories of how some kids in the mainland, along with their families, their communities, and even their states, have been immensely affected by bullying. The video mainly covered the lives of about five kids.
One of which was Kelby, who gets bullied for being a homosexual girl who dresses like a guy living in a Christian community. Aside from the average bullying of being called names and being singled out, she was hassled everyday by kids in school and even by some of her teachers, some jerk even hit her with their minivan for no apparent reason. She did have her small group of friends, but other than that she was felt unwelcome by the nearly the entire school and church. What seemed cool thought was that she was able to put on a smile in front of everyone and cracks jokes to hide her pain. Even though when she’s alone she cries because she’s afraid and hurt by the bullying. Worse, no one can see that she cut herself and has attempted suicide before. Although her life seems sorrowful, she’s able to find ways to stay happy such as her understanding family and friends, and she is even determined to make a change to stop what’s happening to her to happen to others.
An even sadder tale was about a boy named Tyler brought up in the documentary Bully. He was dearly loved by his family but as he grew older they noticed that he was a bit of a loner, he couldn’t stand large crowds. He was also not athletic because he wasn’t that coordinated and somewhat of a geek. What the family didn’t notice soon enough was that he was being bullied, kids shoving his head in lockers, telling him to hang himself, calling him worthless, stealing his clothes, harassing him in the bathroom, and just being cruel to him without any reason. Now he was smart enough to tell someone like the school, but it was unfortunate that the school didn’t think they could stop everything, not with all the other bullying and problems they were facing. The superintendent was even trying to avoid and ignore the problems. So with the constant harassment and no way out, Tyler thought that there was only one way out. He was so depressed that he hung himself committing suicide. That left his family full of sorrow and greatly scarred. It was such a traumatic loss for them that they wanted to do something about it. They felt that something needed to be done about the bullying in that school and everywhere in general. They made a goal to better the lives for others and carry on the awareness of bullying. Starting with the school that did nothing and moving on to creating their own movement to spread the word that people need to realize what’s going on and that it needs to stop. Furthermore, situations similar to these are what is to become of what’s happening in Hawaii if the bullying is not resolved.
A lot of people give up on trying to end bullying because it seems like an impossible challenge most times, but that just means we need to try harder and do more. Everyone is guaranteed the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet bullied people are being denied the right of pursuing happiness. Therefore the problem should be addressed effectively and bullying should be put to a complete end.
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