Bullying Destroys Students’ Lives


Aaron Burden

According to The National Education Association, more than 160,000 students stay home to avoid the pressure of bullying, causing them to miss valuable education.

Zainy Tareen, Staff Writer

Abbey sits on the floor, in the last stall of her school’s bathroom, quietly sobbing. She hasn’t moved from there since lunch where she was bullied by a few kids. The school bell echoes across campus and giggling girls pour into the bathroom. Abbey looks down ashamed because all she can hear is her name on their lips. Many students are put under the pressure of schoolwork, but many also have to take the burden of being bullied daily. Bullying has become a big problem for high school students.

According to The National Education Association, more than 160,000 students stay home to avoid the pressure of bullying, causing them to miss valuable education.  Additionally, in the United States, approximately more than 3.2 million students are bullied in a year, and most of them are put through long term pain. Victims of bullying often lose their self-esteem and suffer from depression. It often causes victims to take the bad path of suicide. Bullying can happen in many ways—verbally, physically or through the Internet, but no matter how bullying occurs, it can definitely take a toll on victims. Just at the end of November, 18-year-old Brandy Vela from Texas City, Texas shot herself in front of her family after suffering years of being bullied by her classmates. 

“Everyone is affected,” said Penina Noonan, one of the counselors at RLHS. “Everyone can witness or be a part of the problem.” The counselors of RLHS believe that bullying is one of the biggest problems.  They have students come in daily to talk about their complications and Kelli Snyder, another RLHS counselor said these situations are stressful for students.      

Depression is a major risk factor associated with bullying. Bullied teens that go through depression often have suicidal thoughts. A student from RLHS who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I have always felt anxious and depressed when I was bullied. I was lonely and not even the teachers helped.” The student said the bullying only stopped when she moved and she would rather keep her past forgotten.

   Suicide is another big problem that bullying causes. The Journal of Adolescent Health, a publication dedicated to healthcare has done a lot of research to figure out if bullying is the main cause of suicide. Many scientists believe it is because every year, nearly 4,400 lives are lost to suicide caused by bullying. 

“People should not bully,” said Jasmine Skowronski, a sophomore in RLHS.“They don’t get anything out of it, except pain from the victim.” She believes people should stand up for thoses who are bullied, that way more bullies will be scared of even trying to hurt others.

Like every other high school, RLHS also has bullies that injure others through physical pain or with words. “We try to keep a positive environment,” counselor Penina Noonan said “That way, most people won’t try to break the good atmosphere, causing less bullies to be born.”

The counselors are always open to talk to victims and there are many students that stop by their office to get help with their problems. During Bullying Prevention month every October, counselors try to make students and teachers aware of bullying and its effects. Alison Schusteff, another counselor in RLHS said, “ It is also important for students to know what bullying actually is. There is often confusion between teasing or joking, and true bullying. Having the knowledge about the difference can help students recognize situations that could have negative consequences.”

 “People that are bullied should come to an adult,” counselor Penina Noonan said. “And if they do tell a close friend, the friend should tell us.”  Victims of bullying should not keep the pain to themselves, but tell someone else because isolation and stress causes depression and suicidal thoughts. Sitting in a closed up bathroom is also bad, if someone is bullied in school, finding an adult and telling them the problem will take the stress out. More people should be aware about bullying and its effects because it’s a worldwide problem that causes life long damage and it can be prevented. “Bullying just shouldn’t happen,” said Jasmine Skowronski.