Bullying in movies is often portrayed as physical aggression, not emotional torment. The aggressor finds his victim, and hounds him or her for money, food, etc., and if the teen is uncooperative the bully usually reverts to physical attacks. As horrifying as this may sound, it’s not entirely true. Yes, there are thousands of instances each year where fighting and other physical altercations are the end result, but bullying, we’re sad to say, has evolved.
You may have already been thinking about cyber-bullying and you would be right. Social media has revolutionized how we communicate with one another, but it has also given bullies another outlet to release their aggressive behavior towards their peers. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be a great place for teens to voice their opinions and creativity, but before doing so, it’s a good idea to check who can access their profiles. Many social media sites have privacy protection that can hide everything on one’s page, allowing only friends to view posts and comments. We strongly advise setting up privacy features on all social sites, to help prevent cyber-bullying.
Understanding the different types of bullying, and not just those depicted on the big screen, can save lives. Far too often we as parents, teachers, and friends see the external harm of bullying, but never look further than the surface. The truth is, name-calling and derogatory slurs often do more harm than we know. An estimated 93 percent of teens hear some form of derogatory language each day, usually directed towards other students.
The words that bullies aim at their victims cause more than emotional wounds. Last year 1 out of 6 teens reported thinking about suicide, 1 out of 5 planned it, and a shocking 1 out of 12 teens attempted suicide. Sadly the same source says that 10 out of the 12 students that attempted suicide asked for help prior to their attempt.
Teens have been taunted, harassed, and bullied for far to long. Please help us fight this battle and end bullying in our schools.