I am writing in response to the article on bullying, which was published on Oct. 24, 2010. Many people have the idea that bullying is a physical act. The truth is that teasing and taunting are a much bigger problem. When one child physically hits another, that child is immediately punished, the victim heals in a day or so and everything is over, The verbal bullying, or hazing as it is referred to now, is much more damaging and the bully is rarely punished. The mental anguish kids go through will be carried with them, often unnoticed.

I applaud the schools that are working to educate kids on the subject, but I also hope that there is adequate follow-up on each incident reported to actually stop the problem. I would also like to comment on the perception that a bully is a “problem kid who is always in trouble.” Many times it is the jock, the homecoming queen, Mr. or Miss Popularity who find it necessary to make themselves look or feel better by putting others down and stomping on them while they’re down.

If you are a teacher, a parent, anyone who spends time with kids, I just ask that you pay close attention and intervene when it’s necessary. If you sit and wait for a bully report, it might never come and the world might eventually lose yet another tormented teenager to suicide. Every kid deserves to be safe and accepted in their own environment and it is your responsibility to help make it that way.

Stacey Beaver

Athena

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