by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
Student Allyse Bamonte responds:
Alyssa, what a terrible situation you had to experience. Unfortunately, this guy’s insecurities drove him to put you down in order to make himself feel better. Stories similar to Alyssa’s are all too common nowadays. On the news, bullying often comes up a few times a month. When and how did bullying become such a serious matter?
Bullying does not only occur in schools, but affects children and teens in their home life as well. When I was in elementary school, the cruelest thing a girl did to another was to to exclude her from their “club” at recess. I’m sure some of my classmates could relate to this. Yes, we would feel hurt, but the next day things were back to normal. My elementary-school experience with “bullying” was nothing compared to the insanity that goes on between girls and boys today.
Even parents become involved, and not to sort out their children’s problems, but to add fuel to the fire. I feel that the limit of hurting another person is constantly being extended, and people are doing worse and worse things as forms of bullying. Perhaps this is partly due to violence and cruelty on television and video games.
Obviously this cannot be the only reason that bullying has become more
violent (through actions and words), but I think it certainly has added to it. Also, facebook and other social-networking sites make it increasingly easy for children to say hurtful messages to classmates and others.
It is much harder to say something disrespectful or hurtful to someone else in person, but people become much braver when talking through a computer screen. Schools need to step up their game, and make anti-bullying programs work. Having a program against bullying isn’t enough. School leaders need to enforce their anti-bullying campaigns, have strict consequences, and evaluate the effectiveness until they find measures that work.