Bullying is simply defined as "use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone)" but it is not just that simple. There is both direct and indirect bullying and within these two are many forms. Physical which most obviously deals with harm to the body and harming of a person. Verbal which is the use of derogatory terms, violent language, and aggressive speech to demean and belittle a person or cause emotional harm. Relational deals with the efforts of someone to trash another's reputation through rumors, postings, etc. Last but not least, there is the classic form of damage to property which is not just limited to egging a house, but deflating tires, breaking and entering, smashing phones, glasses, stealing clothes, etc. It's funny that with all of these different forms of bullying displayed every day and clearly outlined on the Internet, that people still try to find ways to justify the actions of bullies.

I will be the first to say that I blatantly do not give a shit about your past or any excuse you will come up with for being a horrible human being. I do not care what you have been through in your life or who made you hate yourself so much. NONE of this is an excuse to defile or treat another human in the same way. I know it must be a foreign concept to many because we live in a selfish society where everyone is constantly stepping on others to try and reach some untouchable shrine of popularity and social acceptance and will do whatever it takes to keep people below them no matter the effect it has on that person. Well here's a news flash, such a thing doesn't freakin exist people so give up the act!

It does not make you look cool by being a bitch to someone for no reason. You are not cool for inflicting harm on someone else just for you and your buddies to record it and post it on Snap. I don't care if you don't like their hair color or outfits. I don't care if he is athletic or can reprogram an entire video game. I don't care if she prefers to read books and sit alone or has to post all over Instagram in order to receive satisfaction from others. Let people do whatever they want and stop trying to act like someone died and made you the queen or king of everyone. Because if your parents haven't broken it to you yet, the world doesn't revolve around you, sweetie.

We have all been through our awkward stages and experienced the glances, whispers, rumors, nudges in the hallways, and just feeling like we're not good enough. If you claim that this never happened to you then be considered lucky. For many of us, this was a reality at some point or other in our life. In fact, 80% of girls and 79% of boys have reported being bullied either online or in school. That's a pretty big percent huh, yeah I thought so too. Only about 30% of students actually admit to bullying themselves, ironic isn't it? Even more shocking is that 40% of boys who were identified as bullies continue the trend of abuse into adulthood. Coincidence, I think not.

Now time for the chilling facts. According to ABC News, about 160,000 kids stay home to avoid bullying each DAY. Bullying, both physical and cyber, is one of the leading factors in teen depression and anxiety nationally. Such mental health issues are also linked to leading factors in teen suicides. Suicide is currently the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults and is responsible for nearly 4,500 deaths per year according to the CDC. Additionally, for every suicide that results in death, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

I'm not here simply to write an informative article about bullying. My goal is to provide some chilling statistics as to how severe bullying has become in this day and age and why it is one of the top THREE leading causes of death in our youth today. If that doesn't scare you then maybe you need to reference my other statistics. The next teen suicide could be one of your friends, a sibling, cousin, someone you know who you had no idea was having to go through such trauma every single day.

My hometown recently witnessed the tragic death of one of our teenage students who had been dealing with bullying for years on end, beginning in elementary school. On November 2nd, 2017 Angelo decided to take his life and relieve himself of the pain he lived in due to the effects of constant bullying. No mother, father, family, or friend should ever have to deal with the grief and pain of knowing that this was the reality for their child. It is time for school districts, bullies, and bystanders to STOP making excuses and exceptions for the pain that these victims of bullying have to experience in their daily lives. You can always be doing MORE to help.

It starts by educating everyone on the reality of bullying. A bystander should never be able to sit there and watch another person be harmed, belittled, or intimidated. Say something, tell someone, take action. School districts should be implementing programs to help students who experience bullying and taking REAL action to penalize the bullies for their malicious acts. Excuses are just excuses and words are simply words, it should never take the loss of a human life for action to be taken. The time is NOW.