by Mahek Khetani | Staff Writer
Student Council has done it again. The class has created yet another fun and interactive way for Johnson students to feel one with another, this time in the form of bully awareness week or “No Place for Hate.”
“Bully week is meant to bring awareness to the entire student body and it’s beyond Student Council members, it’s to get everyone involved, and it’s not just to bring up sad stories, it’s for people to be more aware about what they say and do and how to be more uplifting and positive and to reiterate how one uplifting word or act can really make or break someones day,” said Student Council sponsor Stephanie Trevino.
The function involves a different event every day of the week between Feb. 27- 31. For example, last monday the class created a Twitter/Instagram contest to get people involved with the idea, using the hashtag #JHSNoPlaceForHate and choosing a winner. However, the activities were more social.
“On Tuesday, we did an icebreaker activity in random flex classes to let students make new friends and get to know everybody, because you’re more likely to stand up for people you know and are friends with, so we’re trying to be a big family and on the other days, we watched “The Ripple Effect” video which shows how everything, like bullying has a chain reaction, plus on Friday, our school was wearing shirts labeled with 25% which indicates that 25% of people are bullied every day,” said senior StuCo member Christina Werkle.
Of course there were students that were all for the event but with that, there’s students who are stuck with the mindset that bullying isn’t necessarily a problem on our campus, despite statistics or hearing out peers.
“We’re trying to get the whole school involved because people don’t seem to think bullying is a problem which is probably because I think cyberbullying is the big issue, like on Twitter and Instagram people do most of the bullying and hopefully after this week, people will be more aware of things like that,” said junior and StuCo member Rachel Gawlik.
Despite few negative attitudes, the majority of Johnson seems to be all in for the idea of making our school a safer place, no matter the amount of effort it may take.
“It’s sad that people that are so closed minded but I hope a bunch will still reach out and help, because if we all contribute we can make this school a lot better but at the same time, I do think it’s a problem that will never go away, just like racism people today are still racist but we can try to make people more aware and diminish the bullying. I think we just have to try and understand each other, let people know that you’ve been in the same shoes so they feel comforted and that they’re not alone,” sophomore Jenna Martin said.
Bullying though isn’t necessarily done purposely. Which isn’t justification but students tend to unintentionally isolate others without realizing what they’re doing.
“I personally think everyone stays with their own cliques and sometimes they’re not willing to talk to people they don’t know and during flex, the icebreakers we did hopefully helped that and I feel like kids should go out of their way to get to know others. Kids need to realize that later in life you’re not gonna have your little cliques and you’re gonna have to meet new people,” said Bully Guard member Elijah Lloyd.
Aiding victims of bullying is a start to creating a safer environment for most but the problems lie in the bully himself. Giving them a reason to stop bullying is the best solution.
People bully because, well I think its a combination of low self esteem or lack of involvement and social skills. Its so imperative for kids to not just be involved in academics but get involved in sports, clubs organizations a place where you can be drawn and intrigued by other people and have a positive connection,” Trevino said.