Throughout New Jersey, even in Summit, bullying is a major issue. Bullying happens everywhere; in person, through text messaging, even through social networking. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re a boy or a girl, or what grade you’re in, it can happen anywhere, and to anyone.
Many people think that bullying is extremely mean, harmful, and could even lead to suicide. People say other people bully due to issues at home, or insecurity. Guidance counselor Christina Martinez said, “They want to have a sense of power over someone.” All 10 people that were interviewed said that cyber bullying hurts more than face to face bullying. Ms. Martinez calls it “keyboard courage” since you can’t see the person’s reaction to the hurtful words that you say to them. “It’s an offense against nature” 8th grade student Emani said.
In a survey of 28 people, 18 said they’ve gotten bullied. “I felt awful, isolated” said 8th grade math teacher Colleen Gilsenan as she recalled her memory of being bullied.
Many people witnessed someone getting bullied, but did they stand up for the victim? “I told him to stop being so mean to her,” said 8th grade student Jackie when her best friend was being bullied in elementary school. While some students stand up for the victim, others stand by and watch the victim be bullied. “I don’t want to get in trouble, I’ve gotten in trouble in the past when I stood up for someone.” Emani said.
The effect that a bully leaves on someone can be devastating. “Emily (not her real name) was called fat multiple times in school,” Bryanna, an 8th grade student said. “She ended up with an anxiety attacks and almost passed out in school.” Bullying makes people extremely insecure about themselves. Not even the new bullying prevention law in New Jersey puts bullying to an end. Not as many people visit guidance with their bullying issues anymore. “Some people do, and some people don’t” guidance counselor Elke Luftig said. “Children shouldn’t have to worry about being bullied in school you’re going to be in school for a long time,” said 8th grade student Angela.