Bullying is a problem that affects people across the globe. Kids, teens, and even adults can be victims of bullying. Keep reading to find out how to identify the signs of bullying, help someone in need (even if that someone is yourself) and make changes through your poetry.
- What is Bullying? Bullying is when someone purposely tries to harm another person in order to make her/him feel inferior. Sometimes the bully targets one part of a person, ranging anywhere from their nationality to the way they dress. Other times, bullies target the person as a whole, for no apparent reason. Bullies enjoy making others feel just plain bad about themselves. But that doesn’t mean you have to let them have their way.
- Are You Involved? Yes, you are! Even if you are not being bullied, you may have seen a bully hurt someone else. In this situation, you are known as a bystander. There’s a difference between being a bystander who just, well, stands by and one who takes action. Don’t ignore the situation. Instead, be an active bystander and help the victim. You can do this by telling an adult (maybe a teacher) that someone you know is being bullied, or even by offering to sit with him/her at lunch. This isn’t about being a “tattletale”: you will definitely help if you take the time to speak up.
- Who is Targeted? Anyone. Bullies feel insecure about themselves and take out their aggression on others. They typically pick on people who aren’t considered “normal” because something about them is “different”. LGBTQI youth in particular are often prime targets for bullies in schools. Asian American teens also report being bullied more than their peers; some Muslim students are also targeted by bullies. If individuals who are bullied feel unsafe, they may skip school and miss out on their education. Bullying can also cause the mental and physical health of the victims to fall apart and in some cases even lead to suicide. If you do your part and offer support, it really can get better.
- How Does it Happen? Different bullies hurt their victims in many ways. Some include physical violence, abusive language, and cyberbullying (it doesn’t just happen on Pretty Little Liars!). Anytime you go online on a social media website like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, you are vulnerable and open to an attack. Cyberbullies choose to remain anonymous and hide behind computer screens and cell phones to use harmful words and harass others.
- Poetry Can Help. Seriously. People take comfort in the fact that they are not alone, but not everyone knows there is someone out there going through the same things they are. It’s up to you to show them. Share your own stories about bullying on Power Poetry. Were you bullied? Have you been a bystander? Realize that you bullied someone? Even a comment offering kind words of support can make a huge difference in someone’s life. You can help, but first you’ve got to make your voice heard.