Bullying at Bellevue West

Sidney Marks, Reporter

Everyday in the hallways I see people who always stick out, and not in a good way. They stick out because they either look different or dress like a “nerd” or something similar to that.

Videos of kids finally snapping at their bullies and fighting back have surfaced on Youtube and become viral hits. Sophomore Casey Heynes of Australia had his confrontation with a bully recorded on another student’s cellphone. After finally having enough of the teasing and taunting, Heynes body-slammed a smaller classmate. He was later suspended from school. Some people, however, applaud Heynes for standing up for himself. There is even a Facebook group supporting what he did.

According to www.bullyingstatistics.org 77 percent of students in America have admitted to dealing with verbal bullying. Verbal bullying is the most common type of bullying in the school setting. Sad to say that with school bullying, about 85 percent have little to no intervention by an adult, leaving the kid a target for future bullies.

Social Networking has a lot to do with it too. If I don’t like someone, I look on their Facebook profile, read their statuses, and say ‘Oh, that’s dumb,’ or ‘Psh, you deserve it’. Cyberbullying in modern times is very casual. It shouldn’t be.

Facebook and Twitter give people a way to say something to someone without being yelled at or getting the consequences face to face. But no matter what someone does online, there will always be consequences. I’m no saint, I will comment rudely on a status, think I sound mean, then delete it. That’s nothing compared to what some other people do online.

Facebook and Twitter are like talking to a pet. I can say something mean to them, but I won’t get any response or consequences for calling Spot ‘dumb’. In order to be protected from being cyberbulled is to erase or block all the people who are saying rude and hurtful things.

Pheobe Prince is yet another lesson for anti-bullying. When the story first came out, I was appauled. Not only at the suicide, but also the girls who drove Prince to suicide and the school system that didn’t care until she was dead.

Pheobe Prince was a pretty 15-year-old girl from Ireland, new to South Hadley High School. Prince was tormented everyday by the “Mean Girls” of South Hadley High School. Jan. 14, 2010 Prince commit suicide because she couldn’t handle being harassed anymore. Nine teens were charged for criminally harassing Prince, but only after she took her own life.

Since the suicide, Pheobe Prince has become the spokes model for anti-bullying. Schools and parents need to step in more to prevent something like the Pheobe Prince suicide from happening again. If bullying gets so severe that more and more teens can’t handle the stress and pressure of being picked on because they are different, then not only the teens are to blame, but also the adults in society.

Like adults always say, “I’m not stupid,” yet most turn a blind eye when they see bullying happen. If someone says something in the classroom, some just let it roll off their shoulder and keep teaching. However, some will not accept bullying and sometimes send the bully down to the dean.

One new addition to our school is the “Respect Pledge”. Mrs. Lucca-Thyberg started it in the drama department. Most people don’t know it by heart and don’t plan on learning it. Most people don’t even stay standing during the new pledge. To prevent another “Pheobe Prince” tragedy, teachers, deans, staff, and students need to band together and completely stop bullying.