Forced Isolation Is The Biggest Bullying Epidemic of The Past Decade

Forced Isolation Is The Biggest Bullying Epidemic of The Past Decade

Forced isolation is very real and very prevalent.

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We've all seen those cheesy anti-bullying campaigns where the big kid knocks the books out of the hands of a smaller kid and laughs just before the hero comes in and lends a helping hand. I cannot tell you how many anti-bullying assemblies I've attended in the past ten years alone, and although the message they spread is good, their data is all wrong.

The stereotype of what a bully is remains the standard for many anti-bullying groups across America, which is where I believe they lose their audience's attention. Although I'm sure there are a few bullies left whose go-to move is something physical, the biggest and baddest bullies are the ones who simply shut their victims out.

I've seen this happen dozens of times growing up, but I never realized what an impact this form of bullying actually had until my last two years of high school. Basically, here's what happens: a group of kids decides that a certain person is to be given a label, which then dictates that person's personality. It happens without many people noticing, and then all of a sudden that kid who you heard is a huge weirdo tries to sit with you at lunch, and you suddenly think twice about letting him.

Believe it or not, most bystanders fall into this trap. You may know nothing about the victim, but you've heard some weird stories that sound pretty true about them, and now you're not sure you want to be friends with them. You'll watch them eat lunch alone and be left out during group projects, but you just don't want to take the chances on those rumors being true.

The bullies in these situations are always very cunning. They target the kids who you know come from low-income families, the kids who wear the same sweatshirt a few times in one week, or the kids who maybe aren't the smartest. The victims know what's happening, but it's hard for administrators to tell if these kids are being bullied or not because what's happening doesn't look like skits in the assemblies.

So, here's my call to action for administrators and anti-bullying groups alike; forced isolation is real, and it's not going anywhere without your help.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/alone-black-and-white-blur-child-568024/

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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To The Friends I Lost Touch With After High School, I'm Sorry

Sorry we don't talk anymore.

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It's been so long. How are you?

I'm sorry we haven't talked in a while. Life got in the way and we just fell out of touch. But I miss you.

Sometimes when I look back at how close we were, I don't miss it. We fought with each other and we "forgot" to return borrowed clothes. We picked sides and gossiped, even though we knew it was wrong. We could be mean and selfish.

Other times, I do miss it. I miss passing notes and laughing, late-night phone calls, and coordinating outfits. I miss the good times, and even the bad ones, because I knew I could count on you.

I've lost touch with most of you since graduation — we're Facebook friends, but we aren't friends. I don't know who you're dating or how school is going until I see a new post. I don't remember your birthday until social media reminds me, and you don't remember mine.

There are so many things I wish we'd gotten to do together, go to concerts and celebrate birthdays. But I'm so thankful for the memories we do have. For five years, all of my experiences were made with you.

Even though we aren't in touch, I wish you the best. Some of us fought and lost the friendship we had, some of us just stopped texting back. But I hope you're happy.

I hope you're all doing the things you wanted to do — traveling the world, writing poetry, cooking for important people. I hope you're having as much fun as you thought you would after high school.

I hope you look back on that time now and remember it fondly. I know things weren't always easy. Some of us ate too much or not enough, and we all cried over boys more than we should've. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, panic attacks... for some of us, that was just day-to-day life, but we all tried to get through it.

I hope you know that, even though we don't talk anymore, I think about you sometimes and wonder if you're happy. I hope you think about me sometimes, but I understand if you don't.

Sometimes, the friends you make in high school aren't friends you have for life. But I'm glad I had you when I did.

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