Dear future president,
I will always remember the intimidation, angst, humiliation, ridicule, despair, dread; and fear that have been present throughout my years of education. Fear of my peers, their spoken as well as unspoken despotic, imperious actions and words towards me. Wanting to run, scream or call out for help though knowing that I wouldn’t receive any. I was helpless, powerless.
The dictionary defines bullying as, “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.” My definition is unwanted; or unnecessary aggressive behavior among peers that involves real or perceived power imbalance.
Bullying is a major problem in our schools. Every day high school, middle school and elementary school students witness bullying, are bullied, or are bullies just for someone’s looks, sexual orientation, background, or for no apparent reason. Every year, according to the CDC, 17 percent of high school students “consider it,” 7 percent have attempted it, and about 160,000 children, and teens stay in the safety and comfort of their homes instead of going to, for fear of bullying. I am one of that 14 percent, that 7 percent, and that 160,000, every day for the past eight years.
Bullying can have an effect on the victim psychologically, as well as mentally and emotionally. It can lead to physical injury, social problems, emotional problems and death. It can also cause depression, anxiety, problems adjusting to school, and long-term damage to self-esteem. This affects how the bully acts out later in life.
Future president, our students need to be more aware of bullying and how it can hurt. There should be a class that students have to take as a requirement for graduation, as well as more efficient punishments for bullying. It is up to you to make that a reality.
Leah G. Pacheco
Hollywood High School