As today is “Wear Pink” day in order to bring more awareness to Bullying and Cyber-Bullying, I thought it would be valuable and important to hear about these issues from a Student’s Perspective. Rebecca Gorgitza, a student with the Vancouver Learning Network wrote this Guest Blog Post for the BUZZ to share her feelings, suggestions, advice and experiences with Bullying. This powerful piece of writing is straight from the heart and I encourage you to share this far and wide today, to raise awareness about this important issue. LETS ERADICATE BULLYING TOGETHER!
Hello bloggers!Now, you all know its Anti-Bully day (I know you know because I can see all the pink shirts through my computer!), and I hope you realize what it means. Think about it, if you will. To me, Anti-bully day isn’t just a day for everyone to be nice to each other; it’s a step towards a total change for the better. It’s just a taste of just how nice being nice can be, if that makes sense. Getting along with each other is a lot easier than you’d think. The thing is bullying isn’t just the stereotypical mean kid making rude comments when you pass in the halls. It’s a lot more than that- it’s even on the web…. And it can be much worse when you’re being cyber-bullied rather than bullied in real life. (Key word, can) Cyber-bullying is like bullying in person, except it can be taken too far, too fast, and without much notice from anyone except for the kid being bullied. It’s little things like harsh comments on statuses, or nasty chat messages on facebook or big things like constant outright rude comments on pieces of art on deviantart. I honestly don’t know what goes through cyberbullies heads’ when they do such things, but I wish I could understand. I do know, however, the effects of it. It takes away confidence, tears away self-esteem, makes you feel worthless. Makes you ask yourself “am I so unlovable and worthless that they have to attack me over the internet!?” (The answer to that question is always no, you are not unlovable or worthless) It makes you want to fight back, but when you do, you realize you can’t win, so you give up. It puts you in a Slump (yes, just the like one Dr. Seuss talks about in Oh The Places You’ll Go). Now, my recommendation for you to get out of that Slump is to have an epiphany. Unfortunately, not even Walmart sells those, so maybe you should tell someone about the trouble you’re having. Now, if you’re like me, you’ll have a few teachers who don’t seem to care too much. Avoid them. Go to your counselor (they became counselors because they wanted to help! They’ll definitely care.), or that really nice, motherly teacher. Or tell your parents, though that can be a bit harder to do since most parents are totally over protective, and you, being a teenager, don’t want to make a big deal about it. Maybe you’re really shy about it…. In that case you can start by saying something like:“So, hypothetically, if someone was getting cyber-bullied,
what should they do?”Or“I have this ‘friend’… he/she’s getting cyber-bullied. What should this ‘friend’ do?”Then, progress to talking about yourself. The most important things you, a student, need to know are that a) the bully will probably not stop “just ‘cause.” Remember, there are “Report Abuse”, “Flag” and “Block” buttons which may start to solve your problem! And b) The only way you are guaranteed to get help is by telling someone who cares. Oh, and if you have a friend who is being cyber-bullied/bullied and they tell you about it…. Don’t just say “oh”. Please, please don’t. Stand up for them. Tell them they’re amazing. Help them- it’s your responsibility as a friend.Now, to the edumacators and ‘rents:NEVER IGNORE A KID WHEN THEY ASK FOR HELP, AND NEVER BRUSH IT OFF.It happens too often, and it’s sad. I don’t care whether it’s cyber-bullying, bullying, or issues that don’t have a single cause. Help the kid. You may not know exactly when a kid is being cyber-bullied/bullied, and you may not be able to stand up for them… but thinking about it from their point of view, helping them, talking to them, giving them ideas and positive escapes from the stress and hurt is a lot better than doing nothing.
If you would like to learn more about “Pink Shirt Day” please check out this CBC news article about the two young men from Nova Scotia who stood up to bullies and created this North American movement! http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/09/18/pink-tshirts-students.html
Also, be sure to check out our own “Cyber-Bullying” Page here @ THE BUZZ as we have many tips, resources and places for help if you or anyone you know is suffering from Bullying or Cyber-Bullying. If you are an educator looking for a powerpoint presentation to use with your class, be sure to check this one out from our Planning 1o Teacher Brenda Kvist! Anti-Bullying
Happy Pink Shirt Day!