The phenomenon of bullying

By Tamara Tatevosian, Class of 2012

Well, Facebook has greatly increased communication between families and friends worldwide, helping them overcome the barriers of distance, but the further it goes the more the negative aspects begin to surface.

An event occurred where a group of nine teens kept harassing a new girl, Phoebe Prince, in a Massachusetts high school. The girl was harassed in school but she also was bullied through the internet as some insulting remarks were posted on her Facebook page. Apparently, some findings were that some faculty members knew about the ongoing bullying but nothing was done to help Phoebe. The online and in-school tormenting led to the girl’s suicide yet the nasty remarks were still being posted on her Facebook memorial page. This investigation led to the discovery of the uninvolvement of some of the adults in the school, but what took more attention was the fact that  Facebook had a role in this online tormenting which shed light on the pitfalls of the usual modern sites of free online interaction among students. It showed that online, many people can be slandered, embarrassed and bullied just through those sites which actually make it easier for bullies to invade their victims’ lives more easily.

To be clear as to what phenomenon I am writing about, let me briefly explain what bullying typically means. Bullying is a social event that has very detrimental side effects on a person: it causes social and emotional anxiety, suppressed anger, and if they last, they even cause some significant personality changes in a person and it is very important to recognize bullying when it happens. Many people think that “oh that is just my friend” or “he’s just joking” and “they don’t mean to say that” and “it will stop,” but there is no such thing. It is also possible that if the bullying is let to go on then the victim may start believing that he/she deserves to be treated this way. According to leading researchers in science and their studies, kids that are picked on just do not have enough experience interacting socially thus are more susceptible to bullying. Bullying can be reduced if kids discuss conflicts with parents and plan ways to act in a certain situations and they may even be able to prevent some instances of it. Bullying can camouflage itself as a joke in the beginning, but in reality it can turn so quickly before you recognize that you have become the joke. As we see, bullying is a very serious issue and inactivity towards fighting bullying is the same as the act of bullying itself. It must be fought and resolved if it occurs for if students can be unified together to work against bullying by not tolerating it anywhere including at home, in the workplace, online and talking about it, then those are crucial steps towards warding off bullies and working for the better of as many kids as possible so that no one should have to be the next Phoebe Prince because it is just not worth it.

This new widespread phenomenon called cyber-bullying is just any other type of bullying. It hurts, it embarrasses, and it gets to the victim. As we know, the School District of Philadelphia has Zero Tolerance Policies on bullying as do many other school districts, but this type of bullying may transcend the safe parameters that the school sets, so let us extend that Zero Tolerance Policy to these sites. As technology advances it seems that more ways of bullying prevail and cyber-bullying is the perfect example. In these types of bullying, many people can post hurtful remarks on one’s Facebook or Myspace page and bullying can reach levels where a bully may open a whole web page to slander his victim’s name. Much to their dismay, though, it has become increasingly challenging and difficult for investigators to find online bullies because of the vastness of the social interaction sites worldwide and why this type of bullying is popular is that bullies, unfortunately, at times can get away and many can be out of the country. Many people can enter those sites; they can participate in slandering and still stay under a virtual name, not to be caught. It is the participation of those other passive bullies that furthers the heinousness of these acts and it is important to be aware and to stay obstinate to these sites and overall to acts of any type of bullying. If we all ignore them, if we don’t support them by not staying quiet or not even once participating in them, we can eradicate most of it. The most important thing is to work unified and with a goal.

And if you are gathering pros and cons of using the internet and those free social networking programs, this is definitely a leading con in that list because of the deaths that they are causing, as it seems, could increase to such a level that it may become one of the leading causes of suicide in teens.   If you are a victim help is available by calling:

District’s Safety Police 215-400-6000

District’s Safety Hotline 215-400-7233

If you would like to read the Zero Tolerance Policy, this is the link you should follow.


One Comment to “The phenomenon of bullying”

  1. I hate people that are so mean and hateful

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