More than a bystander

Bullying has become an epidemic. Find out how you can be apart of the solution

By Shane Carver

Shanda Sharer(12), Tyler Clementi(18), Phoebe Prince(15), and Seth Walsh(13).

These names may not mean anything to you, but to their families and friends, they were everything. But they’re not here anymore. They’re not here anymore because they were bullied to death. Some were brutally murdered; some took their own lives. All were tragedies.

All of these deaths have made headlines. So much so that they have started a cultural army of anti-bullying advocates such as celebrities like Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres, policymakers, and the media. Projects like It Gets Better, and NOH8 are two of the most famous movements that have big names attached to them.  Messages like this are exactly what today’s society and the children living in it need. They need to know that they are alone, and that people care about them.

Even after making great strides, the bullying still hasn’t stopped. Kids are still killing, others and themselves. Kids are still bullying, and kids are still getting bullied. One out of four teens are bullied, and one out of five admit to being a bully at some time or committing some act of bullying, according to Bullying Stops with Me. One is far too many. Sooner or later, the cycle of bullying is going to be too much to handle.

Something has to be done. Send the message to your families, friends, neighbors, co-workers that bullying is not okay, and you won’t stand for it. Our generation has the power to end it, the power to start a revolution. But it begins with us.

There are so many things that you can do as a student to show your support and care for those being bullied. Show support in October by wearing orange on the 10th. You can find out about what your school does to prevent bullying. Talk to your principal about getting involved to help stop the cycle. Be a role model for younger siblings. Let them know that bullying cannot be tolerated. The hardest part is getting up and getting started.

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