Everyone: Stop bullying!

Aaron Young
Staff Writer

“Stop being such a girl. You’re gay.”

I am gay because you pulled your pants down to reveal shorts under it meaning what exactly?

“Go play with yourself…. We aren’t your friends anymore.”

I am a creative and like to let my imagination flow. Okay, if you aren’t my friends now, were you ever?

The insults and slurs keep going and never stopped. Until the bully behind them moved away.

They called me names, coerced me into doing things I didn’t want to, went after the girls I was interested in, and then bashed me for my personal beliefs.

High school came for me. I met a friend who came at my religious beliefs.

“Why do you choose to practice this religion when mine is clearly the “better one?”

Don’t even get me started on politics. Just because I voted differently than you doesn’t mean I am wrong.

A while back that same person sent me a friend request and I declined it.

In addition to this, people stole off my fundraising chocolate bars and taunted me. I remember being at home the same day crying my eyes out, and my brother saying he was going to beat these people up. He had my back and I appreciated his support.

College came. I never really fit in at all. I was always the outcast or lone wolf. I didn’t party and tried my best in school. I learned quickly who was and wasn’t to be trusted. I made MANY mistakes that I won’t discuss here.

I went to church and met many people. Learned a lot about my faith and what it was about. One problem was that I started questioning things. They don’t like that. I was being spiritually bullied. So I quit going and sought elsewhere.

I’m not sorry I think differently than you do. I don’t apologize for standing up for myself when you tried bringing me down. I wish I had done it earlier because I have been bullied since kindergarten, and for the stupidest reasons. I was the scapegoat, the easy target because I put my trust in the wrong people, only for them to take the trust and abuse it.

Bullying is defined as such by the Merriam-Webster dictionary: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc.

It is a word that has other concepts under its umbrella like discrimination, prejudice, and even ethnocentrism. Bullying leads to some serious consequences for the victim, such as depression, anxiety, feeling worthless, and even suicide in the worst cases.

It has been going on probably since the beginning of time because somebody decided they were the alpha and everyone was below them. I am going to tell you something you don’t want to hear: everybody you see or know has either been bullied or is the bully.

That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Here is the thing though, you can change that. WE can change that, and it is getting better.

According to a study done by stopbullying.gov, 28 percent of students in the U.S. get bullied between 6-12 grade, and 20 percent in high school.

What’s more surprising is that 70 percent of staff and students witness bullying happen, but don’t do anything about it. This is known as the bystander effect, and according to verywellmind.com, is “the phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress.”

The most common types of bullying are verbal and social. Having experienced both at the same time, I cried and walked away from it. Cyberbullying exists now with the internet and although I haven’t been a victim of it, many have.

I didn’t want to put up with this bullying anymore. Then I realized something.

I don’t have to put up with this. I am going to stand up for myself. I won’t take crap from people because quite frankly, they should know better. Now, if it is for my own good, then it’s constructive criticism. However, most of the time that isn’t the case.

I know better not to get physical, so instead I call them out about it. They don’t like it, but it must be done. The sad reality is, bullying will probably never go away.

I was a victim, but now I am a survivor. If anyone, and I mean anyone, tells you to do something you don’t want to or makes you feel lesser than you should, they aren’t your friends. Unless what they are saying benefits you, they aren’t worth it.

This semester, I had 324 Facebook friends. I got it down to 212 before deleting it altogether. Now, I have 101 and I couldn’t be happier to have those people in my life.

Please prevent bullying from happening or stop it when you see it.

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