Bullying: Problem or Placebo?

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Bullying: Problem or Placebo?

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If you have been brought up in the Massachusetts public school system then you are probably already an expert on bullying. We all remember those 3rd, 4th, and or 5th grade assemblies where we were told to treat people the way we wanted to be treated and so on and so on. However, as sad as it is to say, it’s been 8 years since those assemblies. So it is only natural to wonder, did these assemblies work? More so, is bullying still a problem at IHS?

 

Personally, I would say no. Specifically, in our grade (the senior class), there has been little, perhaps even no, examples of what maybe could just be interpreted as bullying. Since this is the case, I have been lead to believe that bullying is a thing of the past. Other factors such as the prevalence of false bullying accusations, most of which have been targeted at ex-friends amidst turmoil, have cemented my belief. While I will not deny that teasing and other not so nice things still occur because let’s face it, it is in the nature of high schoolers and humans alike, but these incidents would never amount to anything nearly substantial enough to be considered true bullying. That being said, I will also not deny how horrible bullying is. Bullying causes 160,000 students to stay home in fear of bullying (according to ABC News). That is nothing to shrug off. I simply believe that at IHS this is not a problem. I do not wish to belittle those who suffer from bullying, I just don’t see or hear anything that leads me to believe that bullying is an issue here.

 

Now that you understand my opinion, you may wonder, what is the opinion of the general student body on this topic? To achieve this, I interviewed a handful of students and asked them these questions-

 

  1. Do you think that bullying is an issue (specifically here at IHS)?
  2. Do you think that physical bullying still occurs?
  3. Do you think that the word “bullying” is being commonly misused?
  4. Do you have any personal experiences surrounding bullying you would like to share?

 

I expected to yield varying results. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how homogenous the responses to these questions were. When asked the first question, all of the students I interviewed responded with either a no or an overwhelming no. One student said that bullying comprises 0% of the issues here at IHS. This should make us feel proud about how safe of an environment we have created in this school. When asked the second question, responses however did vary. A third of interviewed students didn’t think it occurs, one going as far as to say, “ [I] Have never seen it in my life, nor heard about any incident in any grade.” Another third of the interviewed students thought that it probably happens but also must be rare. Finally, the last third of the interviewed students thought that physical bullying has been entirely replaced by emotional and mental bullying. Also, remember this question addresses all bullying, not the theoretical bullying here at IHS. When asked the third question, the responses became more uniform again. All interviewed students responded along the lines of, “ Yes, hands down” expressing how people nowadays are a lot more sensitive. One interviewed student described the misuse of the word as, “a witch hunt” which I would agree with. Finally, when asked the fourth question, no interviewed student had any personal experience with bullying, which is something we here should be proud of.

 

While we can’t assume that every school’s bullying situation is as good as ours, and we can’t rule out the possibility of there being a possible bullying situation here, we should still be proud of the safe environment we have created here at IHS. It is one that garners such confident results.   

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