Bullying hurts everyone, never right answer

IUS Horizon

October is bullying prevention month, and, quite frankly, bullying disgusts me to the fullest extent.

Bullying hits a soft spot for me because, not only have I been through it and helped my friends and family deal with it, but I have lost friends because of it.

There is never a time when bullying should be considered OK. Even between two friends, it can still be taken too far and hurt one, if not both, of them.

Karen Klein, a bus monitor in upstate New York, was bullied by a group of middle school students. They called her names, such as “elephant,” and even made comments as lewd as “You’re so ugly, your children should kill themselves,” when 10 years prior her son actually did commit suicide.

At one point during the video, Klein even started crying. This 68-year-old retired bus driver turned monitor was crying at her job because these children were making her feel so bad.

This is one of the worst cases I’ve seen in a while. These children, for whatever reason, felt the need to make this woman, who has all her life, feel like dirt.

Why? Was it because she was sitting there, and she was their target of the day? Was it because she is not as skinny as Barbie?

The good news in this story is Klein received more than $700,000 in donations from a website called IndieGoGo.

Klein used part of that money to form an anti-bullying organization, and she is currently on tour to spread her message.

I do not understand what possesses someone to constantly say hateful words or do hateful acts to someone. Does it boost their self-confidence?

Because so much more bad is done when someone is made fun of, whether it’s their sexual orientation, the way they dress, the way they talk, etc.

On Aug. 21 a 12-year-old boy who lived in Southern Indiana committed suicide because he was bullied so much at school.

A 12-year-old. That’s only a short period of time.

Someone or a group of people caused this child to feel so horrible about the way he is, so he took his own life.

We can not let this continue.

Luckily, there are support groups and hotlines for people who have been affected by bullying and who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Honestly, if you do not want to go to random people on these hotlines and support groups, my e-mail is right below my name in this column so, please, shoot me a line, and I will listen and do my best to help you out.

Bullying

There are a number of resources for students that can be utilized — the many offices on campus or check out www.studentspill.com, a website for college students facing issues. A person submits a question, and it is sent out to other college students. You can pick people at your campus or across the country, and they read it and give you feedback on the issue.

I have spilled there, and I am a responder, as well. It helps hearing from individuals who could be going through the same thing, or they can direct one in the proper place to handle the situation.

If a bully happens to read this, and not just the bullied, then please know bullying is wrong and very hurtful to more than just the person being bullied.

According to stopbullying.gov, bullies are more likely to abuse their spouses,   alcohol and drugs, become criminals as adults and drop out of school.

Even if it makes the bully’s self-esteem higher, it is not worth the cost of what that bully is doing to another human being.

A bully could be boosting himself for the time being, but could be shoving his victim so far into the dirt that he kills himself or has serious psychological issues his whole life.

So, unless it is enjoyable to read stories like that of Tyler Clementi – an openly gay student who went to Rutgers University, and jumped off a bridge because of taunting from his roommate about his sexuality – then do not be a bully. Get help if bullying is going on in your life, and stand up.

Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, put it best when she sang, “Whether life’s disabilities left you outcast, bullied or teased, rejoice and love yourself today ‘cause baby, you were born this way. No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby I was born to survive.”

Everyone has a reason they were put on this planet. Do not let someone belittle you or some body else.

Stand up, be brave, be accepting, be yourself, be amazing, be kind and be involved, and bullying will become a thing of the past.

By BRYAN JONES

Profiles Editor

jonesbry@umail.iu.edu