The clock is ticking slowly as you watch it intensely; its arms move continuously, never-ending, with as much gusto as your grandmother still has. Your eyes are weary and you’ve resorted to propping your head up with your hand in a poor attempt to stay awake.
Finally, the final click sounds through the air and your ears pick it out easily, as if you have supersonic hearing. Just before that single tick even finishes reverberating through the room, a cry breaks the air as if someone has snapped a whip in front of your face, breaking the air without any effort whatsoever. The screeching bell is signaling what you have been quite impatiently awaiting for — the end of the school day.
Papers are gathered and books are shoved into bags; feet are shuffling and chairs are being pushed against the floor roughly; the usual chatter initiates though you’ve no mind for it. You only want out.
Swiftly, you leave the room with your bag slung over your shoulder and head down your usual route toward the back of the building where the buses await. As you exit through the doors out into the bright sunlight, you smile, soaking in the refreshing air whilst you stride away from the growing crowd. Just as you spot your destination, a looming shadow covers the sun and a cold chill reaches your spine. Suddenly, you’re more awake than ever as your heart beats frantically. You’ve been caught in your tracks yet again, and there is nothing you can do about it.
It’s called bullying. It’s that fear of finding the one person you’d rather avoid in order to end your day on a good note. That bile taste will reach your throat and you’re too far to find any help nearby, but too shaken up to bolt for the nearest escape. Even if you sought out someone who may be able to assist you in this time of need, your vicious predator will merely worsen everything he’s already done.
So many kids go through all of this repeatedly in some way. It could be through verbal or physical abuse, or even cyber abuse. Young lives are being ripped apart with no one to turn to.
There are many campaigns that are desperately trying to bring this issue to the limelight to show everyone what bullying does and how it can be solved. But can this problem be as simple as that algebra equation in your math book? The answer is simple: No.
It’s not going to be an easy issue because we’re too deep into it. Adults have been using the excuse that bullies only toughen their kids up, but usually, the result is quite the opposite — most often, bullying will tear a kid down. And if you urge the victims to always tell someone they trust, they’ll even be too afraid to do that because their predators have already warmed them of the consequences. So how can we help without throwing our children under the bus?
We must find another way to bring an end to this cruel fate for future generations, and to help the others who have been negatively affected by it. First and foremost we must bring this problem to everyone’s attention and tell them about it. Show them what it does and what studies have been proving for years. Then we must try to implement our ideas into reality.
The easiest solution is to come up with a way to secure the situation if a child is crying out for help. We have to also make sure that the bully cannot return for more wrongdoing, but we must try to help the bully, as well. It’s another problem to handle, but this is where the problem takes root — the core to the evil poisoning our society.
And what about the victims? We must make sure that they understand the full situation without feeling horrible abut what they’ve done. They have to realize that they were the victims in situations that were not in any way their fault.
There is nothing right about bullying. Every single aspect about it is appallingly wrong, creating monstrous beasts that never sleep or stay away. It is a problem with our students that is unfortunately placing them in the wrong place at the wrong time — repeatedly, and without an end in sight. They do not deserve this type of pain in their lives, especially as they are merely trying to learn and live peacefully.
To say that bullying is right in any sense is to say that kicking a kitten is justifiable. This problem will not go away unless we all jointly work together to bring an end to this evil demon, and it all begins with speaking about it to others.
Katya Vilgelm is a junior at Southeast Career and Technical Academy.STUDENTS SPEAK OUT
Katya Vilgelm, a junior at Southeast Career and Technical Academy, is the winner of the Review-Journal’s most recent essay contest. She will receive the $200 first prize for her submission addressing the topic: Is bullying really a problem, and if so, what can be done about it.
Jon Dulay, a student at Southwest Career and Technical Academy, wins the $50 runner-up prize.