By Randy Castillo |
All through Angel’s* high school years, she would be bullied in class by the same students who bullied her in middle school. She would get her schedule changed to escape these students. Then in one situation she was put in a new class with friends of these bullies. It was a never-ending cycle.
But she isn’t alone.
According to stopbullying.gov, approximately 49 percent of students in fourth through 12th grade reported being bullied at least once in their life all across the United States. In today’s world, bullying has changed, instead of bullying being in just the hallways during school, it’s now happening behind a computer/phone screen.
STAN counselor Werk Cook explained bullying is like a seesaw, with the bully being brought up while his/her victim is being pushed down.
“Those being bullied really have the power to stop or put the bully in his or her place,” Cook said.
Bullying can lead to a lot of things, a student can have a lot of rage in their heart, or it can be the reason they take their own life. For Angel it’s been a process; she had to go through the loss of her aunt and cousin in eighth grade, and the loss of her uncle in her junior year. With a lot of negativity already happening in Angel’s life, she had to face more problems at school with students who were bullying her. Even though Angel has to face bullying at school, she still finds a way to stay positive and be herself through her faith, family and friends who’ve been by her side.
“Don’t let anyone bully you, talk to someone you trust and most of all, be yourself don’t try to be like others, you are who you are.” she said.
Cook is planning some school-wide events Feb. 12-18 to spread positivity across Roosevelt involving positive comments, handwritten cards for people/students in the hospital, written notes to someone who’s had a positive impact on the writer’s life, and artistic activities like sidewalk chalk, and a huge heart drawn on a big canvas on which students and staff can leave their handprint, and around it will be statements from elementary students.
Cook said he is very excited for next month, and hopes it encourages students to be more supportive with each other and make Roosevelt a bully free-school. The the best advice Cook said he can give to students who don’t want to speak up, is to know there are a lot of ways to handle a bully. It can be as simple as talking to them, and becoming their friend, or to distract them with something else so they can lose their train of thought.
* The Big Stick used first name only to protect victims of bullying.