Kara Carlson
Staff Writer

Bullying, we hear this word constantly. It’s talked about so often that one would think bullying would no longer be a problem.  Sure we don’t walk through campus and see freshman’s legs sticking out of trashcans or cries of help coming from inside lockers but bullying still exists. It has evolved into a sly and malicious monster. Emotional cyber bullying has taken over. More programs that focus on assisting the bullied victims would help prevent future cases of bullying and heal the scars that bullying can leave.

Many schools have programs to prevent bullying but not many are actively reaching out to help the victim. GSA and BRIDGES encourage tolerance to prevent bullying. Still, the victims are increasing so these programs are not enough. ABC News reported that almost 30 percent of students K-12 have either bullied or been victims of bullying. Everyday 160,000 people are so scared of bullying that they stay home from school.  These victims get little media or administrative attention.

Students develop different coping methods for bullying. It affects each person differently but no one can just brush it off.  Masks go up whether victims act overly happy or become detached. Often they develop trust issues which can make the bullying and isolation worse because they push others away. If we can develop more programs to help reverse these problems in teens the lasting effects of bullying can be reduced by methods like peer support or counseling to encourage victims to let go.

52% of teens nationwide have reported being cyber bullied and 52% of those victims do not tell their parents when it occurs. The fact that this many teens feel they can’t share this with their own parents is a terrible problem. This can be changed by improved and more frequent outreach programs to victims.

Cyber bullies feel untouchable behind their computer screen. They’re the most cowardly of all the bullies, yet their tactics are possibly the most effective. Too often a person put down day after day, destroyed by spreading malicious rumors, made to feel worthless, takes their own life because they are unable to deal with the cruelty of the bully.  Words might seem like nothing.  To pick apart every “flaw” in a person, telling them they are worthless has long lasting effects. Some turn to self destruction, become depressed, or even suicidal.  Most bullies attempt to isolate the victim. This just shows more cowardly behavior from the bully. If we actively work with the victims perhaps more of them would have the courage to speak up and share their stories and prevent the downward spiral caused by their pain. Cyber bullies can attack 24/7, you aren’t safe anywhere. We need to start with more support and programs and fight the bullying with these numbers.

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