Dear Schools: Help Save Your Kids

Dear Schools: Help Save Your Kids

Bullying is not going away by ignoring it.

Sometimes in our lives, we encounter people who are not nice to us, people who don’t wish us well and would prefer not to see us succeed. These people go to great lengths to rip us down, calling us names and stepping on our accomplishments, building themselves up by tearing us down. Is it a thing that can be dealt with, as others often advise us to do? In general, yes.

But sometimes, kids are too young to understand how to deal with it, or do not feel as if they can. Here, they turn to their school and their teachers as “trusted adults," looking for a source of safety, security and aid. And what do these schools do? Absolutely nothing.

Often, bullying begins as early as elementary school. I remember in third and fourth grade listening to people’s harsh words, usually played off like a joke but becoming more serious as more and more people laughed. People called others worthless, stupid and lame, told them to stop talking because nobody was listening anyway and called on others to isolate and ignore them. At age 11.

Countless friends and people close to me have experienced the same. Mean kids using words they don't understand with impacts they can't imagine lash out at others, looking for a reaction from peers and acceptance, willing to take their friends' social places for themselves. It seems so often that prettier people, more athletic guys are the ones that everyone loves - the middle school teachers play favorites and the more "outgoing" and "fun" crowd, the one that usually, even if not directly unkind, is exclusive and arrogant.

And yes, it gets better in high school when people stop caring both about other people's opinions in general and gain the confidence to stand up for themselves, but what happens before then? Well, not much.

Yet another news story about a kid who killed themselves flashed across the news screen about a week ago, this one a twelve-year-old girl who apparently had been bullied for years. Her family is filing a lawsuit against the school district in New Jersey because they had known about it and done nothing. This is a news headline that pops up almost monthly, with someone who has been picked on and told they are worthless, stupid, future-less, ugly, uncool, boring, unloved, uncared about, ignorant or just laughed at so many times that they have believed it.

This isn't something that you can just tell kids to ignore and then leave them behind to "deal with it themselves."

Especially since, once somebody stands up for themselves and retaliates with even a fraction of what was given to them, they receive equal punishment.

How about schools start answering their own call to action; since they display posters reading, "tell a trusted adult," they owe it to their students to be that trusted adult. Requiring students to submit proof in video or picture form of harassment (and refusing to acknowledge an issue without said proof), and handling even proven situations mildly makes students feel unsafe and as if they don't matter.

Students are expecting to feel safe in their school, or, at the very least, they are expecting their schools to try. As bullying takes new forms, it is difficult to contain - nobody expects schools to monitor text conversations, and nobody is asking the schools to mediate between catty girl drama or boys fighting to simply resolve a quick dispute. What everyone expects is for schools to handle situations that are handed to them; when a child, sibling, friend or parent comes to them and says, "somebody is bullying me/my son/my brother/my friend, they have been for months and they are ignoring all messages to stop," it is their job to handle this.

Perhaps it is also time to stop blaming the victim - it is not "their job to get thicker skin" or "their job to let it roll off their shoulders." A ten-year-old has a much more fragile sense of self and much lower confidence levels than a fifty-year-old administrator or even their parents. You have got to help kids when they come to you- they are trusting you to fix the situation, not tell them to grow up and ignore it.

And besides, okay, ultimately, it doesn't matter what you think or how you feel towards the situation, because when kids are repeatedly feeling so ignored, so uncared about, so hopeless and helpless and worthless that they are ending their lives before they even hit puberty, there is a problem. And it is not going away by "ignoring" it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Starbucks

This is my oh so wonderful experience at Starbucks during the week of midterms.


When I usually go to Starbucks, I typically get the same type of drinks: carmel macchiato, chai tea latte, chestnut praline chai tea latte (which sadly is only a holiday drink), or a shaken black tea lemonade with light ice. However, sometimes a person just gets bored drinking the same three drinks over and over, so I thought, "Hey! lets get out of our comfort zone here pal and try something new." So I did I walked my tired stressed out self to Starbucks 10 minutes before my next class and ordered a tall cinnamon shortbread latte, I mean the description and other peoples comments about it made it sound super good.

As I was waiting for my drink I noticed that one of the baristas was having some issues with some type of syrup, but I thought that they would refill it and then add what they need, and that one probably wasn't even mine. When they did that, I saw them get a new jug of syrup and I went back onto my phone and to try and plan how I was going to get through this midterms week.

Quick info about midterms: everyone is dead, and everyone is stressed. Us college students literally live off of caffeine during midterms week. If you're lucky like me you are at school from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., so the caffeine is really needed.

Now soon after I saw the new jug come, my name was called. I grabbed my drink and walked like the walking zombie I was to my next class. I went in for my first drink I was so excited to have this sweet taste of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee...but what I got was the opposite. It literally tasted like a very burnt somewhat coffee and cinnamon edible without the marijuana affects, or for the non-edible people, a very bad tasting cookie that was missing all the sugar. I was not a happy camper one bit, but I was going to drink it anyway because I payed $4 for this coffee. I struggled drinking this during my writing class because it tasted terrible, but then out of no where I got this hit of sweet — I was drinking the sweet vanilla and the sweet cinnamon part of my drink minus the majority of the coffee since I was 3/4 done with the drink. I was seriously crying on the inside because I didn't get to enjoy this drink the way I needed.

Then the realization hit me: 1. They probably didn't add in the missing parts of the syrup once it got refilled since they suddenly got busy. 2. They did not stir that drink one bit because all the syrup was literally at the bottom of the cup. If they did these, then the problem wouldn't have happened.

This is not the first time this has happened to me having all the syrup at the bottom of the cup at a Starbucks. Its not like I am able to swish it around myself because it is full to the top and I don't want hot coffee poured or splashed on my hand. Also, most people are on-the-go while they are drinking their coffee or doing other things. I have only had this issue at Starbucks and never at any other place have I had this issue like Anthem Coffee.

So can Starbucks just agree to always mix their drinks? So that the zombie college kids during midterms have good coffee to keep them alive?

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