Opinion: Stand up, speak out, and silence bullies

Rachel Gilbert, Staff Writer

“LOSER!”
“STUPID!”
“UGLY!”

Many of us have seen or heard these killer words before on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or even in the hallways. When a person gets called these awful, depressing, and offensive things, his or her self esteem and self worth is lowered.

Most bullies bully because of inner insecurities, issues in their family or social lives, or possibly because of past memories of being the victim of bullying and not the offender. Insecurities within the bully such as appearance, intelligence, or social interactions can be a root source of the bully’s problems. If a person has a difficult family or social life, they may tend to “take it out” on another person. When anger and frustration boils to the top of the nerve capacity, it feels good to yell or put down someone else in order to raise a person’s mood.

In middle school, I remember being bullied a lot and having a difficult time focusing in school. I even worried about going to school the next day because of the taunting words of the mean girls. Being worried or scared to go to school because of bullies is the worst feeling ever. The bullies ended up pulling me away from my friends by telling lies and rumors, when in reality I was an innocent adolescent.

If a person is bullied in their young and elementary age groups, they are more likely to either be the bully, or be the person who stands up and defends victims or share their experience with others. Being bullied early on can lead to the “desire to get revenge and to make them pay” for hurting you in past times.

According to the website Nobullying.com, bullying through social media has caused 1 in 10 teenagers to commit suicide and bullying in general has caused about 4,400 deaths per year. Social media is a main factor of bullying and can be the most destructive way to break a person down emotionally.

While social media has its perks, it is also a danger zone for every single teenager. Once something is posted, it becomes public. So if someone posts a comment bullying another person, one of the bully’s friends can read it and pass it on all throughout the internet, which can eventually lead to the victim being utterly and uncontrollably embarrassed without any way to stop it.

As for the victim, they are permanently looked at with the label of loser, stupid, or ugly. No matter how hard a person tries to get rid of that label and image in the minds of every kid at school, that name will always be floating around because of one ignorant, intolerant, and curt person.

If someone is, meets, or knows a bully, SPEAK UP! Don’t hold feelings back just because judgment or bullying can occur after. Being bullied hurts and knocks down walls of self esteem and confidence. Stand up for friends, family, and even strangers. It may not make a monumental difference in the peacemaker’s world, but it makes a world of difference for the victim.