Life consists of hardships that cause individuals to feel isolated
Life consists of hardships that cause individuals to feel isolated, degraded, harassed and the list goes on. Those obstacles can attack someone physically, mentally, and emotionally at any age. Bullying is a topic that exists anywhere, the National Center for Educational Statistics of 2016 states, “Bullied students reported that bullying occurred in the following places: the hallway or stairwell at school (42%), inside the classroom (34%), in the cafeteria (22%), outside on school grounds (19%), on the school bus (10%), and in the bathroom or locker room (9%)” (Pacer’s National Bullying). The concept of bullying is a critical topic that can cause a victim to suffer from low self-esteem. Being bullied can start with words and later turn into physical violence. Individuals are bullied, as claimed by the National Center for Educational Statistics of 2016, “The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation” (Pacer’s National Bullying). People who bully others cause physical and emotional abuse to the victim which can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Being bullied can start as soon as elementary school and last until high school or even further than that. An individual can be bullied in school, at home, and at work. Bullying, when reported as stated by National Center for Educational Statistics of 2016, is, “… 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 12% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose” (Pacer’s National Bullying). There are many types of bullying including cyberbullying, bullying based on disabilities, based on color and sexual preference.
In a study done at Paramount High School bullying is defined by three students of different grade levels. Senior, Kassidy Rodriguez said bullying is, “When someone does something bad towards another person.” She is stating that a bully will do anything to hurt someone else. The next person is an eleventh grader named Melvin Platero who stated bullying is, “When a person makes fun of someone because they are different.” A bully jokes about people because they do not feel comfortable with themselves so they make fun of others. Lastly, Dalia Fregoso who is a tenth grader said bullying is, “Physically or verbally hurting someone without having a justified reason. Typically, because they are distinct.” In general, bullying can be any act that is done without reason with the expectation of being funny. The victim of bullying suffers from discrimination and exclusion from one or multiple attackers. Individuals who are bullied feel trapped with no escape from their attacker.
The topic of bullying is a hot topic in every state. In the state of Mississippi, it is very common to read about the distinct laws that have been developed to avoid bullying. A new law in Mississippi clearly states that new changes were made to help the victims of bullying. An article by WLOX explains the law by, “The law states that teachers and coaches are required to report any incidence of bullying to school leaders or campus officers. The biggest change affects victims. They now have the right to fight back against their attackers” (Pham-Bui). With this new law, the victims receive rights that were taken away by the attackers.
A big concept that is based on bullying is cyber bullying which revolves around the internet. Monica Steiner wrote that “It is illegal in Mississippi to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any student in a way that interferes with the student’s right to attend class” (Steiner). The bullying can occur verbally, physically, or through the media where it appears at all hours. Cyberbullying is the bullying that occurs through a screen and can be very harmful because anyone can be behind that screen. Bullying has become more common in Mississippi schools. Monica Steiner maintains that “Since 2010, all public and private schools have been required to adopt an anti-bullying policy for harassing behaviors that occur on school property (including on school buses and at any school-sponsored events)” (Steiner). By doing so the school is providing support for their students who sometimes feel hopeless. The act of bullying someone can also be seen as a federal crime under the law. Steiner continues on that, “Someone who commits an act of bullying may also face criminal penalties” (Steiner). Steiner’s point is that no one can get away with hurting someone without facing some sort of criminal charge. Laws that have been created to stop bullying are the key to giving back to the victims who lost faith through the process.
The state of Mississippi has had many severe cases that involve some sort of bullying. The victims in each of the cases vary in ages. The first case about a senior in a Mississippi high school named Destin Holmes who fought for her rights that were violated by the individuals that were anti-gays (Hensley). Through a long process, Holmes established, “The district added sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to its protected civil rights and equal education opportunity policy as part of the agreement” (Hensley). This young lesbian girl was able to stand for her rights and get the voice out about the problems that occur at school. With this agreement, harassment in schools can be stopped and can promote healthier relationships between students and staff.
Another case is of bullying that exists in elementary school that can be life-threatening. The author, Marie Edinger, says that a ten-year-old boy from Mississippi was bullied to the point that he wrote a suicide note that his school did not report to his parents (Edinger). The author commented, “… a conference with the parents of all parties involved and the children are warned not to bully. If it continues, criminal charges could be filed” (Edinger). The school needs to take more responsibilities for their wrongdoings and should learn from their mistakes. The investigations done at that school should be more profound and more detailed to prevent it from occurring on school grounds or anywhere in general.
The last case, which is the most emotional, is the case of Lorel Ka’heim Malone who died from being bullied at school. The authors Anita Lee and Margaret Baker stated the twelve-year-old was bullied on a daily basis because of his belief in his religion and his appearance (“Lawsuit: Mississippi Gulf”). Lee and Baker wrote, that Lorel’s parents were suing “for depriving him of his civil rights and equal protection under the law” (“Lawsuit: Mississippi Gulf”). The life of their son does not have a price, but by suing they got the story out that schools need to be more prepared. Bullying is no joke and needs to be controlled before more victims pass away.
Anti-bullying programs have started to grow in order to avoid bullying in Mississippi. The state of Mississippi has precisely made an anti-bullying policy that makes schools teach students on the different types of bullying and how to stand up for others and how to know if they are being bullied without them knowing (Hood). Jim Hood, an attorney general, learned from Dr. Tom Burnham that, “Everyone, from the Mississippi Board of Education to local school personnel,…strong anti-bullying policies are just one important piece of ensuring that students remain safe and ready to learn” (Hood). Students in Mississippi schools will learn to behave more decent and learn to not judge others based on their appearances. The safe environment in schools will make schools more inviting and more friendly.
Bullying prevention programs have become more popular in Mississippi. The process of identifying when someone is being bullied contains many steps. Once identified a series of steps go into the case to confront the attacker and to avoid it from occurring again. The “Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault” is a commonplace to discover how to help children when they are bullied. This article said, “Talk with your child, empathize with your children, work together to find solutions, and help your child develop strategies and skills for handling bullying” (“Bullying Prevention”). With the above support, children who are bullied learn new ways to handle their problems and how to ask for help.
In conclusion, the whole topic revolving around bullying is heartbreaking. When an individual is living through the bullying they just want to give up and excluded themselves from reality. An attacker possesses so much power over their victims; therefore, they feel depressed and blame themselves for the events of bullying. Bullying makes people of any age feel lost and with no escape, but they have resources to help get the word out, that bullying is a very severe topic in modern day society.