Bullying refers to the mistreatment of an individual on a regular basis. According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, one out of every five students has reported being bullied. We usually discuss bullying within a school context, but it can exist in multiple other organizations and circumstances, such as at the workplace, or even at home. Bullying may take different forms, including physical bullying, verbal insults, manipulation, prejudice, cyberbullying and more. All of these forms are horrible and must be dealt with.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance has established Anti-Bullying Week as a way to raise awareness regarding bullying and how we can stop it within educational institutions, as well as out of them. This year we celebrate it from the 15th to the 19th of November, and its theme is “One Kind Word”. This theme refers to how a single kind and supportive word can help an individual that is being bullied or going through a difficult period within their life. We must remember that our words hold power, and that ill-intended words can hurt as much as kicks and punches, while good-natured words can offer more comfort and support than we might expect.
Bullying affects our generation unlike it has affected any previous one, due to our constant and overwhelming access to social media. Most of us use social networks on a regular basis as we enjoy communicating with others and finding entertainment through them. However, we cannot deny the downsides of our social media usage. Social media gives way to anonymity, allowing users to say horrible things online with little to no consequences. Thus, cyberbullying is now a more pressing issue than ever before. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center 33.8% of students aged 12-17 have experienced cyberbullying.
If you are experiencing cyberbullying you should inform a trusted adult immediately and they can guide you regarding the best way to deal with the issue. Reporting someone's account and blocking them are also necessary steps. Any form of bullying, whether that be physical, verbal, emotional or online bullying must be reported to a responsible adult, such as a teacher, parent or other family member. If you ever witness bullying you should also report it, and try to support the bullied individual with kind words and by being their friend. If as passerbys we do not act there will never be change.
We have created an infographic highlighting some of the most shocking statistics regarding bullying, as well as how you can get help if needed and support others:
The ISB prefect team has also created a video on this issue:
We encourage you to take responsibility and spread awareness regarding this crucial issue. This Anti-Bullying Week, remember that one kind word can change the world, and if you are being bullied know that there is a way out and that there will always be supportive people that will be willing to help you. Change can only happen from within the student body, so let's be the generation that spreads positivity and helps diminish the issue of bullying once and for all.