Bullies and Bullying written by Jennifer Ralston discusses the widespread problem of bullying, its impact on children being bullied, how bullying is seen as a factor causing the bullied to become v...
|Scooped by Caroline Staffa|
This is a scholarly article, called "Bullies and Bullying" by Jennifer Ralston who discusses how dangerous the impacts of bullying can be for the victims. The main idea behind this article is the connection behind the horrific Columbine shooting and school bullying. In addition, she also addresses that the attitude toward bullying as a social norm should change. Ralston argues that bullying is not just an issue, but an epidemic, causing "160, 000 kids a day to skip school for fear of being bullied."
I chose this article to curate because her arguments are based off of facts and through this scholarly article, the devastating and extreme results of bullying are depicted. Her writing argues against the attitude that bullying is "a social norm that represents a rite of passage into adolescense," such as what John Daly said, "that being teased and kids being jerks is something every student must go through." I also think it is so important to emphasize the range of effects on students who experience bullying. Some students may be able to tolerate it, shut it out and ignore it whereas other students let it consume them and don't move past it. Bullying is such a personal attack that no one can understand how it will affect someone.
When explaining what happened at the Columbine shooting, Ralston writes " While in school, the two boys were seen as outcasts and ostracized. The two seniors were characterized as being anti-social and inclusive. They were constantly teased, picked on and tormented by the school’s athletes and other students. Due to the constant torment, the two students went into a deep depression and hatred towards the school and wanted to retaliate against it." Their attack on the school left 12 students and 1 teacher dead along with 24 students wounded. Ralston concludes that "Due to these types of school bullying, tragic events like the Columbine shooting occurred."
Reading this article breaks my hearts, makes me angry yet also motivated to bring about change in the future school I work in. It is so unacceptable that students were bullied to the point that they thought a massacre of this type would bring them revenge and justice. The Columbine students were an exceptional case of bully victims who chose irrational and worse behavior to compensate for the torment they went through. Niether the bullies nor the victims were right or justified in their actions; they were both incredibly and unreasonably cruel. I have to wonder what did the staff at that school and parents do about the bullying? Did their parents take John Daly's standpoint that what they went through wasn't bullying but the typical stuff every kid encounters? Did the teachers react the way they did in "Bully" and say they cannot do much or make the two kids shake hands and that's it? Could actions have been taken at the school or by the parents to stop this from happening, and if so, it is imperative that parents and school staff begin to take those measures.
Ralston concludes this particular by writing something that I could not agree with more, "Ralston believes that bullying is a “learned behavior”, so she recommends the implementation of bully prevention programs geared to influence and change the social norm of bullying. That means, bullying is seen as a rite of passage that every teenager goes through in their adolescences. Therefore, we need to change the mindset that bullying is “normal” and address the issue of bullying like it really is, an epidemic." Bullying is not normal nor "something every kid goes through."