Recently a young teenage girl from B.C. took her life after being bullied to the point where she could not fight the battle anymore. Amanda Todd’s bullies defeated her─her life is now forever lost and no one will know what the future held in store for her. The story of this 15 year girl is only one example of many people who have taken their lives because of bullying.
Todd’s story has captured media attention all over the globe. People have been quick to point fingers at Todd’s parents, the bullies themselves, the school system, the internet and the list continues. What is very sad about this story is that it took an act suicide for the topic of bullying to get attention from the government and the school systems. It has been reported that police are looking into how to deal with the people who bullied Todd—but why were there no investigations or reprimands while she was still alive?
Bullying is a serious issue that happens every day; whether through the massive world of social networking, malicious text messages, harmful rumours etc. This issue needs to be met with consequences; the justice system seems to be as ignorant as the bullies themselves when it comes to helping victims of the crime.
Teaching children that it’s not ok to bully someone will not correct the problem—it is going to continue regardless of what is said. What will really make a difference in the prevalence of bullying would be legal action and hard consequences.
No one has the right to be cruel toward anyone else, regardless of sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, physical appearance, race etc. Be careful what you say about a person, as it can be truly damaging to their self-worth or self-esteem.
It is important to create awareness around this topic as it will not go away if society continues to sweep the issue under the rug. Make people around you aware when they say hurtful things about another person. Be open to the opinions of the students around you and talk to them about cultural and ethnic differences; you will gain knowledge about why that person is different from you and about different cultural practices all over the world. Being open to ideas and learning about other people’s cultures will help you to become aware that being different or having different beliefs is not a bad thing.
Embrace the uniqueness of each individual and don’t be so quick to judge. Make someone aware if you or someone you know is being bullied. Be sure to reach out if you need help—there are counsellors on campus that are here to help you get through any issues that you may be having.