What Can It Be?
-Why is it that young people who have been bullied do not want to talk about it?
There was a boy in my elementary school who would constantly be bullied at school for no reason at all and he would isolate himself from everyone. I would try to be his friend and wanted to keep him company, but every time I would try to talk to him he would run away and go somewhere to be alone. One day we were in class so he could not run away, I asked him if was ok, since he was not talking I told him that the bullying he was going through was not right, that he should talk to a teacher. At that moment, he got up and asked to use the restroom.
Young people are often afraid, ashamed, want to act tough, or some are so far into being convinced that they deserve to get bullied. There is an infinite amount of reasons of why young people do not want to talk about getting bullied, but today I will focus on two. The first one is about telling staff what they are going through and the second one on how reaching out to parents does no good, in some cases makes it even worse.
In some cases reaching out to staff when someone is constantly being bullied may not always turn out as best as can be. Some may hear out the students and blame them when in reality they are the victims. Others have been told to stop tattling on people. According to the article Committee for Children, “ Yet many adults believe that young people need to workout bullying problems like these on their own. This belief may promote a code of silence about abusive behavior.” I have seen many stories like this happen where teachers did not take it serious enough as to help the students and instead just told them to solve it on their own. It is obvious that they can not fix it on their own or else they would not have even reached out to staff in the first place. Students then block themselves out and really do not know what to do at this point.
Students often do not want to talk about them being mistreated because they feel as if they have no support from them, so they feel insecure/ ashamed of going and standing up for themselves. According to the article, Committee for Children, many times students may misinterpret that adults do not intervene when in reality they just have a different perception of fixing things such as by telling the teens to just talk it out with them and students do not feel comfortable enough doing so because of fear, and see staff as being no help. I feel like there are many adults like this and think it is easy to just say to fix it, but it is easier said than done. The harm done to these students is crucial and in many cases result into suicide because they feel hopeless and lost. “People who engage in suicide-related behavior often experience overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.”- The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide.
Many teens have also had negative experiences talking about it to their parents. Some parents seem to be very competitive and do not like to see their child as the weak one so they may come off harshly by giving them the wrong advice. This advice includes “ fight back, don’t let yourself, show him you’re not a wimp”.- Committee for Children. Advising their kids to do this can only make the problem worse and does not fix it at all. This can also cause depression not only from the bully, but from the parents as well because they are ashamed of him/her and expect him to do something that they just can’t do and let alone is not right at all. Parents like these make me feel as if they are embarrassed that their kid is being bullied and do not want them to be the laughing stock of someone else so they tell them to stand up for themselves.
Other parents may tell their students something such as “ sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you” just doesn’t cut it.”- Committee of the Children. They expect their kids to just get over it, but it does not work like that when they face this situation daily. Other parents may call the school or go talk to the staff personally resulting them to bring in the student and not always does this fix the problem, but can also make it worse by making the victim an even bigger target by calling him/her tattle tale or using jokes such as “mommy’s boy”.“ Students fear retaliation and a reputation as a ‘rat’”- Committee for Children.
Young people have a hard time transitioning from being kids to teens to adults and with bullying in between those only makes it harder for them to be able to grow as a person. They may not know what the correct approach is to handle this problem and usually try to avoid it by not wanting to talk about it because they are afraid, ashamed, or often don’t get the answer that they are looking for. After seeing different sides to the story, it makes me realize how tough some students have it and it only motivates me to wanting to help make a difference.