Being a Bully: Students faced with a bully at PHS have ways to make it stop

Bully. A small word with so much meaning behind it.

The most distinct definition of the word ‘bully’ is: a quarrelsome person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

Bullying is a problem everywhere, no doubt about that. Bullying can cause people emotional and physical pain.

Bullying comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Hazing, online cyber bullying and personal bullying are the three most common forms of bullying. These types of bullying happen every day all over the world.

Bullying happens online, at home and even at school. 160,000 children in the USA miss school every day because for the fear of being bullied. The most common victims: those considered ‘unpopular or weird.’ October is national bullying and suicide prevention month.

“Bullying is taken very seriously here at Paoli Junior Senior High School. Administrators, counselors, and teachers all are willing to help in bullying situations and work together to advocate and look out for all students’ well being,” said guidance counselor, Brandi Kerley.

Seeing the warning signs of a person who is being bullied isn’t always obvious, but the warning signs are there.
Some signs may be not showing up to school as often, withdrawing from peers, unusual sadness, unexplained cuts and bruising, decline in academic performance and motivation and the fear to walk to school or home. If you or someone you know if suffering from being the victim of bullying here are some ways you can help the situation; tell a trusted adult. Tell someone of higher power, such as the principal or guidance counselor.

“Going to the guidance office can help bullying situations. Gentle confrontation with a bully can be powerful because sometimes there are situations where the student does not know they are a bully. With the help of an administrator or guidance counselor you can talk with a bully and let them know how they are making you feel. Bullies often times feel like they are being funny or ‘teasing’ when they are in fact bullying and making others feel badly,” said Kerley.

But the most important way to help resolve bullying is to not react negatively to the situation. In other words, just ignore the bully. Giving them attention will only motivate them to continue to pester you. Talking to a guidance counselor and having a face to face confrontation may give the bully a wake-up call.

“If a student is being bullied they should contact school staff instead of retaliation on the bully. Disciplinary actions can be taken and the guidance office can help to resolve any issues pertaining to the bullying,” said Kerley.

There are organizations all over the country designed to help you or a friend suffering from bullying. Also, many of the organizations can help one deal with thoughts of suicide because of bullying.
Lawrence County Suicide Prevention Coalition, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Trevor Project, STOMP OUT BULLYING and Pacer Center are just some of thousands of organizations designed to help with bullying and suicide.

Something that most people don’t realize is there is a price to pay for being a bully.

For someone who does not understand that, it means you bully people and you will get in trouble. At PHS, some students believe the school does not handle bullying well. Often times the school’s hands are tied, and little can be done. When possible the administration deals with bullying by sending students to the office, expulsion and even suspension.

Indiana is one of 47 states that anti-bullying law on the books is in place to help teens. School districts in these states are nevertheless also responsible for preventing and responding to bullying incidents.

“According to the student handbook, students can be suspended or expelled for the following: using violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, fear, passive resistance or other comparable conduct constituting an interference with school purposes, or urging other students to engage in such conduct, and/or intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical injury to another person,” said Kerley.

Bullying is a national problem that kids everyday of every age deal with. It’s not pretty and it can be extremely painful, physically and emotionally. If you or someone you know is being bullied, talk to the guidance counselor or someone of a higher power. “It’s important not to negatively react to the situation,” said Kerley.
Bullying can be stopped but it starts with you reporting the situation.

Story by Brooklyn Dotts