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Bullying: a harsh reality that affects today’s youth

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Bullying: a harsh reality that affects today’s youth

Illustrated by Kaitlyn Seefeldt

Illustrated by Kaitlyn Seefeldt

Illustrated by Kaitlyn Seefeldt

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Senior Thalia Narvaez said she was getting bullied in sixth grade at a Corpus Christi middle school, and by eighth grade, it only got worse.

One day in 6th grade, Narvaez ran into a popular girl who asked her to play a game with her after school.

“I met (her) under the outside stairs and within two seconds I was out,” she said. “All I remember was she was on top of me literally like beating me.”

A Sept. 22, 2017 study by ABC News showed that over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied. Bullying happens when an individual or a group of people with more power repeatedly and intentionally causes harm to another person or group of people who feel helpless to respond. Bullying can continue over time, is often hidden from adults, and often continues if no action is taken, according to the National Centre Against Bullying based in Australia.

Narvaez said she didn’t know who to talk to. The bullying she went through caused a lot of insecurities. She felt like she had to change herself to fit in, by telling her mom every morning to do her hair and makeup. When the bullying first happened she reported it to the counselor, but Narvaez said she didn’t take action. Then she reported it to the principal, and the accused students got sent to in school suspension for one day.

After the day ended, however, the bullying continued. Girls mockingly asked Narvaez why she told on the bullies, and they called her a rat.

“I felt like there was no point reporting the kids who were bullying me,” she said. “No one ever did anything to stop them.”

Administrators usually don’t get to see what happens online, and students don’t always report if someone is being bullied, Flour Bluff school counselor Melissa Doyle said.

“Sometimes they are scared of the bully’s friends or being called out on it,” she said.

The Flour Bluff district has a website that students can visit to report a bully anonymously: http://flourbluffschools.net/report-a-bully/

Bullied students can appear withdrawn socially, often are reluctant to attend school, can be easily distracted and often underperform academically, assistant principal Linda Medley said.

When a student comes to a teacher and says they are getting bullied, the report goes to the administration. They then take the information to make sure it is in fact bullying, Doyle said. If the school thinks it’s more than bullying they will get Corpus Christi police involved.

Narvaez said that many of the perpetrators use bullying as a method to cope with their own problems.

“Many teenagers usually bully students because they are not happy with themselves, so they bring others down to make them feel better,” Narvaez said.

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Bullying: a harsh reality that affects today’s youth