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The Jetstream Journal

Bullying- It Does More than You Think

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Kaitlyn Waynick, Polls Editor

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This phrase has been overused as an excuse to pretend that words don’t matter, to brush off verbal abuse. But, if this is true, if words really don’t hurt, then why do 3,470 high schoolers in the U.S. attempt suicide every day? Why do 20% of teens experience depression by the time they become adults?

You never know what’s brooding behind the placid faces of teenagers. It’s impossible to tell what people are thinking, in turn making it difficult to realize how your words may affect others. Those between grades 9 and 12 have a special knack for the art of hiding emotions, a terrible specialty that leads to depression and even the thought or act of taking one’s own life.

However, it is difficult to understand people’s pain and hurt with the walls they put up, barricading themselves from exposing the truth of how they feel. They try to ignore the downward spiral of depression that they face as a result of bullying. A solution to this fear of speaking up is anonymity. In this article, a special glimpse is given into the thoughts of anonymous victims of bullying, many of which are Kadets, and some who attend school in other districts, who hope to bring light to the lethal effects of being teased or excluded. Here are some of the things they said:

“I felt like an outcast and was pretty depressed.”

“I was new to the school and someone spread rumors that I had said all these nasty things to people. After that, a good portion of the class hated me and thought I was a horrible person. I felt like an outcast and couldn’t make many friends for the next three years.”

“In sixth grade my friends pulled me into the counselor’s office and told me they didn’t want to be my friend.”

“I just wasn’t myself.”

“My sister has dealt with being bullied her whole life, and she told me about a night she almost jumped off a balcony during a school field trip.”

“It was like I had broken my spine and walking or even getting up from bed felt painful.”

“I felt ashamed.”

“Bullying made me feel like there was something very wrong with me, and it was one of the darkest points in my life.”

“My ex disclosed all of our private actions to the wrestling team and they would chant his name whenever I walked by. It was humiliating.”

“I cut my wrists and told my friends they were cat scratches.”

“All you can think about is, ‘how could I not have known, how come I didn’t do anything,’ over and over again.”

“I felt really lonely.”

“My friend found out her boyfriend was cheating on her with a few girls she knew, and then they started bullying her. And then she started hurting herself. She would cut herself with pencils.”

“In senior year I heard some rumors that I did some sexual actions that never happened.”

“I withdrew myself and didn’t take any risks or try to make friends.”

“I tried to kill myself by suffocating myself.”

Our own Kadets, their families, and their friends have all been affected by the scathing blows of bullying. An even more shocking revelation about bullying and depression in our hometown is this fact from NAMI Colorado Springs,El Paso County currently has the highest suicide rate in the country.” This is not a tragic statistic that our beautiful area should hold by its name. While other reasons of suicide, such as mental health or messy home situations, are difficult to prevent, it is possible to stop bullying. Consider the thoughts of those you talk to, realize the turmoil that a comment, a rumor, even an action can cause a person. You could be the reason a person wants to take their own life. But, you could also be the reason they keep it.

The solution is simple; be the change, be the reason they keep it.

 

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The student news site of Air Academy High School
Bullying- It Does More than You Think