By Amber Maeshiro-Moreira
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 bully is one who uses their power to either harm or intimidate those who are weaker, which takes place over a long period of time. Bullies can be anyone, who hurts others in order to have their way, yet the help to diminish the problem about bully, hasn’t yet been solved. In reality, bullying in Hawaii has become more of a nuisance, rather than fixing any bullying problems. To illustrate how much of a problem bullying has been in Hawaii, statistics show that when it comes to cyber bullying, about 50 percent of teenagers have been bullied on the internet or through cell phones (Mendoza). Whereas bullying has become a big deal for many teenagers, especially in Hawaii. Bullies have had a big part in the lives of many, so it is time to fix what bullying has done. Bullying needs to be stopped.
First off, to understand about bullying, many should learn that bullies and victims fall into similar characteristics. Although, they are in different situations. Normally, certain traits of a possible victim is that they’re either smaller, weaker, or even different. Depending on the victims ability to comprehend academics or social activities to those who physically look different. As well as, a person who is physically weak, doesn’t have much money, looks, or acts different, they can also become a potential target.
For victims especially children, making friends isn’t so easy, especially being an outsider. While in high school, a number of students become a “loner”, meaning that they have become socially awkward. They’re so different that they aren’t able to fit in and even build good relationships with many people, such as Alex, in the documentary Bully. Alex is different because of how he looks, he is also socially impaired. Alex didn’t know how to react to others, he didn’t know if they were joking with him and he would also walk around by himself because of his condition, Parkinson’s disease. Being different is how a tormentor picks out their victims.
Through it all, to understand more about bullying, there is a cause and effect event that occurs. In particular, a main reason on why one is a bully is because of their home-life. Similar to the Rebecca Sedwick case. Apparently Sedwick committed suicide because of two other students. Their verbal abuse had taken a toll and after viewing the case, the Sheriff stated that of one of the tormentors, her mother had been in a predicament with abuse to two other boys and she also wasn’t unaware of how bad the situation with her daughter was. Sheriff Judd also stated that, “Children live what they learn” (Dahl). Therefore, due to a person’s homestyle, it results in creating a bully.
After realizing who the bullies are and how they’ve become a bully, for Hawaii, the bullies are the locals. No matter how long one has lived on Hawaii and they’re Caucasian, they will still be called Haole’s, which is racial term, similar to the n-word (Ross Singer). This situation has gone on because Hawaiians supposedly have first claim of the islands, but this goes on farther than that. With generations who have grown accustomed to those who have taken over their islands, the newer generations are being taught that outsiders do not belong. Almost identical to the Sedwick case, bullies have learned how to become tormentors because of what they’ve learned through their home-life. Therefore, bullies are everywhere, even in the Aloha state.
Many folks are affected by bullying. Those who are affected by bullies are not only the tormentors themselves, or even the victims. Bystanders are also affected by this problem. When a situation from bullying occurs and the toll it takes on victims or bullies, can create a devastating impact on many. Whether the victim tries to go through with suicide, has a withdrawal, or even snaps and becomes homicidal. Bullying is a major obstacle that needs to be fixed. Apparently one in five students are experiencing bullying in some way and the others are bystanders who are also affected by bullying (Violence Prevention Works). Bystanders are affected because they can feel fearful, powerless, guilty and even tempted to be the bully.
Besides bystanders, who are usually present when a situation occurs, those who can be affected by bullying are friends and even family members of the victims and bullies. Bystanders, friends, and family members are affected because of the process that occurs when a victim is being tormented.
Seeing the victims of bullying take their lives, cut themselves or even become violent towards others is how bullying can affect others. For example, in the Bully movie, when Tyler Long took his life because of bullies, his parents took action and spoke out about Tyler’s death. In a different situation and understanding how bullying affects others, a young, Hawaii girl was bullied because she spoke out against some bullies at her old school because they had been bullying another autistic student. After talking to her father, because she knew that bullying was wrong, she then was inspired to establish an organization called So Children May Thrive, which will have a chain reaction helping and standing against different bullying, suicide, fights and even threats that would affect others (Tenbrink). Hence, bystanders are also affected by bullying, not just the targets and tyrants. Even though each situation is different, when it comes to the different bullying ordeals many are able to make a difference, even though they are affected by bullying.
Throughout the years people and different organizations, has tried to make a difference about bullying. As for those in Hawaii, organizations like Stop Youth Suicide and Bullying have been running workshops which pinpoint facts about suicide and bullying trying to help educate others about bullying and suicide within Hawaii (Mental Health America of Hawaii). Another organization is also the one stated earlier, So Children May Thrive, which is for everyone within the group to know and react about threats, fights, cyber-bullying, bullying and suicides. Those within the groups shall educate the youth about how to handle bullies, through assemblies and in school programs. Also, for Hawaii State Department of Education, administrators have proper training to keep schools safe (Hawaii Public Schools). From how to acknowledge bullying, take action, and learning how to deal with internet safety, has helped to improve, a bit of, Hawaii’s bullying problem. As a matter of fact, according to the Department of Health, Hawaii has the 7th lowest suicide rate in the nation (Kern). Even though Hawaii still has bully problems, different programs have been helping to reduce bullying.
Although Hawaii organizations has been reaching out to folks about bullying and suicides, in order to address this problem, bullies must be identified. Bullies can be anyone, they have a tendency of learning to be a bully from their homes and while not every bully is the same, the outcome from bullying are. From depression, to letting the hurtful words and abuse not get ahold of the victim, to suicide and homicidal events, the best way to specifically identify the bullies within Hawaii, are to understand the bullies before they really inflict more pain that they have been doing. Then, more help will be needed. Whether it’s more teachers overseeing the students during breaks, or more security making sure there are no fights, to even parents making sure that they regularly check what their child does online. To fix the and address who the bullies are and how to change their outlook on hurting someone else, will help drastically so that bullying rates can go down.
Bullying is a hassle. Many folks have gone through it throughout their lifetimes, for Hawaii, there are many children who have been suffering with bullies and if the bullies are not stopped now, they will continue hurting others which has terrible outcomes. As for those who are bullying, who have been hurting themselves and even others, must realize that a victim of bullying can be a little brother, niece or even their own child. It is time for bullying to come to an end because if a bully doesn’t want to see their loved ones getting hurt, then they should stop inflicting pain towards their own target.
“Anti-Bullying Work.” Hawaii Public Schools. Hawaii State Department of Education, 2013. Web. 10 Dec 2013.
Dahl, Julia. “Rebecca Sedwick Case: Bullied girl….” CBSNews. CBS Interactive News, 25 Oct 2013. Web. 09 Dec 2013.
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“How Bullying Affects Children.” Violence Prevention Works Hazelden Foundation. 2013. Web. 12 Dec 2013.
Huges, Mark. “Bullies Lose, ‘Bully Wins’.” Forbes. Forbes.com, 06 Apr 2012. Web. 5 Dec 2013.
Kern, Nancy. “Department of Health: Hawaii has….” Hawaii Reporter. Hawaii Reporter, 08 Sep 2010. Web. 13 Dec 2013.
Mendoza, Jim. “Cyber bullying affects 1 in 2 Hawaii teens.” Hawaii News Now. WorldNow, 16 Nov 2010. Web. 5 Dec 2013.
Ross Singer, Sydney. “Bullying in Hawaii: A State of Denial.” Hawaii Reporter. Hawaii Reporter, 05 Oct 2011. Web. 10 Dec 2013.
“Stop Youth Suicide and Bullying.” Mental Health America of Hawaii. Mental Health America of Hawaii. 2012. Web. 09 Dec 2013.
Tenbrink, Trevor. “Hawaii girl who gained fame for standing up to bullies is ready to address the problem nationally.” Eagnews. Eagnews, 17 Jul 2013. Web. 10 Dec 2013.