Unsuspected victims of bullying in schools

Unsuspected victims of bullying in schools

This group is being harassed and we aren't doing anything about it
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Unless you were homeschooled or popular, a majority of people experienced some sort of taunting or teasing in middle or high school, growing up. (And if you were homeschooled, your siblings probably did a decent job of that too). If you’re anything like me, you probably tried to play it off, laugh it off, or ignore it, as if you were not hurt. But deep down, no one likes to be made fun of or have their physical or personal flaws pointed out in a demeaning way.

I was victim of bullying in middle school and my first couple years of high school. However, I want to talk about another group of individuals, apart from myself and peers, who I saw get bullied in school. Think back to middle or high school and try to remember that experience from your teachers’ point of view. I remember many instances during middle and high school, when I sat in class, observing, and thinking “I will never be a teacher. Look at what they have to go through.”

Between my own classroom experiences and those of friends and my siblings, I know that teachers have been called curse words, jeered at because of their clothing or other physical appearance feature, or laughed at when they get frustrated from students not paying attention. Some have been spit at, stolen from, “roasted,” or insulted based on their personal life; some teachers have even had things put in their food or drink.

This issue is close to my heart because my mother is a teacher and I have heard her stories of awful things students have done and said to her, some near the point of harming her and some just for “fun” but nevertheless disrespectful. On one occasion, a student colored a tampon with a red marker and placed it in my mother’s assignment bin. She found it later that evening and was repulsed. Some days at work brought her home on the verge of tears. Why we would want to insult or harm the people who further our own education and wellbeing, I do not understand.

Even if you do not like a teacher or think they are mean, too strict, or stuck up, taunting is never okay. They are human beings who also have difficult lives and bad days, sometimes.

I know that in middle and high school, we are all just kids still trying to find ourselves and our purpose in life. However, everyone should realize that you can do all of that without demeaning those around you. Respect for teachers goes a long way, and such behavior is definitely not tolerated in college. At that point, it will not be a three hour detention or silent lunch, you can be criminally punished for harassment, as you are now an adult. Also, remember teachers tend to be more lenient and forgiving if they have a good class with students who respect them, not just as a teacher but as a person.

One of the most important jobs in the world is that of a teacher. If we do not protect them in every way, then the way they relate to us and their role as educators will become one of detachment and mere formality, and that will not be a pleasant experience. Let us treat all our educators with the respect and honor they deserve for helping us along our life journeys toward greatness.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Photography, Merrimack College - School of Education

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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