Bullying: The Epidemic that is Damaging People for Life [ hsj.org, by Elizabeth Turner, 23/2/2011].

Bullying has had a dramatic effect on people across the United States. Bullying has lead to students and workers skipping and/or dropping out of school or work because they don’t feel safe. Students who drop out are more than likely to end up in jail instead of graduating and going to college to become doctors or lawyers or what they wanted to be before being bullied took over their lives. Workers who skip work can’t support their families or pay their bills. In extreme cases, bullying can lead to very severe psychological problems; possibly requiring hospitalization. Even more extreme cases can result in death by suicide because the person can’t handle the pain they’re being put through and feel at a complete loss, as if no one would miss them or people would be happier without them around.

Physical bullying is when physical contact or intimidation is enforced to make the victim do something they don’t want to do. Physical bullying may only show damage on the outside, but only the victim and the victim’s family knows it affects them mentally too. A 2010 case supports this. Adam Casey was bullied and he ended up going to the hospital with a broken nose, a broken eye socket, and requiring 13 stitches. Casey felt like a monster because of the way he looked after the incident. His mother told the press that he has become very angry because of the incident. Physical bullying can cause a lot of damage to the outside, but in cases like Adam Casey, it can cause even more damage mentally and emotionally.

Hazing is when the victim is embarrassed into doing something they don’t want to do. Seth Walsh was hazed. He was harassed into committing suicide. Students were taunting Walsh about being gay. He was humiliated by it and hung himself in his back yard. Hazing can be a group event. Twenty-six years ago, James Lenaghan was being initiated into an off-campus fraternity. In order to join he was forced to eat spaghetti, wash it down with wine, and throw it up so he could eat more. Lenaghan ended up dying of blood-alcohol poisoning. Hazing might not be considered bullying in all cases, but the results can still be disastrous.

It doesn’t matter if it is physical or emotional. Bullying is a problem. Adam Casey felt like a monster after being beaten up. James Lenaghan and Seth Walsh died. Bullying damages lives, some of which end in a blink of an eye.

Statistics show that one out of four kids are bullied almost every day. That’s around 25% of students being mentally, physically, and/or verbally abused. 14% of those bullied students have severe reactions to the bullying. Approximately one out of five kids will admit that they are bullies. 8% of students miss school to avoid bullies. Almost half of the people bullied fear further harassment in the bathroom. Roughly 280,000 students are attacked in middle school. Every seven minutes a student is bullied.  4% of adults will interfere, 11% of friends will interfere, BUT 85% of people will not interfere when they see someone getting bullied.

Every once in a while a lucky person will stand up for himself (or herself) doesn’t end up like the examples we read about in newspapers or hear about on the news. Not everyone is brave enough to stand up to their bully. Home should be the safest place for a person to be. School or work should be second. No person should have their safe havens taken away from them to the point that they feel like they shouldn’t exist.