It's Time To Change How We Address Bullying
Health Wellness

It's Time To Change How We Address Bullying

If bullying is treated as an issue to push out of the way, cover up or move on from, it won't ever truly be over for the people being victimized.


When I was in the sixth grade, I dealt with bullying that became so bad that I had to go to dozens of meetings with the principal and other teachers to handle the situation. The boy who was bullying me found ways to make the situation so drawn out and difficult, I eventually wished that I never spoke up in the first place. I remember the bullying, but I mainly remember the way it was handled so poorly by adults who were in positions designated to help and protect students like me. My close friends came to my defense, but witnesses and other students didn't want to offer help, maybe out of fear of being bullied themselves, or being called a snitch. It also could have been uninterest or a lack of empathy.

It never felt like the school cared that bullying existed within their community. To me, it looked as if they cared more about squaring away the issue in a timely manner, and without making too much of a scene. If bullying is treated as an issue to push out of the way, cover up or move on from, it won't ever truly be over for the people being victimized.

That's why it's time to re-evaluate and change how bullying is tackled as a whole, and as a society. And in order to do that, we must shift our mindset from the negative to the positive. And no, I don't mean 'look on the bright side' because there isn't a bright side to the sad nature of bullying, and the harm people are able to do to others. But rather looking at society as a whole, and the communities within to find ways to create an environment of real respect, unconditional kindness, and a desire to stand up and to support those around them. This means teaching and instilling a community of support that goes beyond direct friend groups that often cause exclusion within themselves.

The BRAVE movement represents this idea perfectly. BRAVE, an acronym standing for Building Respect And Values for Everyone, calls on students to be stand-byers instead of bystanders, meaning they stand up, defend the victim and offer support, instead of watching and doing nothing. It also encourages kids to strive to be more inclusive to their peers, going out of their way to show kindness, and pay attention to everyone around them.

It's easy to understand why preventing bullying is important. The damages of bullying are long-lasting and traumatic. Alternatively, bullying is often the first step in a road of violence, and fostering respect and compassion could ultimately prove to be a critical part of a bigger need to end the dangerous cycle. While legislation and school policies can always be improved upon and strengthened to better address bullying, it is also a responsibility that lies on society, communities, and individuals.

Flipping the 'script' on bullying to address the foundation could prove remarkably effective, or even create a bigger impact that goes beyond schools, into a world plagued with a lack of compassion. A world where simply standing by your peer, neighbor or even a stranger could change, or save their life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments