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@ Rumbler oasis Hotel, Tuen Wan

Photography by AshiWong

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say no to BULLYING!

Photo: Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Thinkstock

The issue of bullying has plagued many school systems in the US. We have all read about issues of bullying causing students to take drastic measures to make the pain stop. Unfortunately, many of these drastic measures have resulted in suicide and/or murder. In 2010, a 15-year-old immigrant from Ireland took her own life because of excessive bullying. A New York Times article noted that the “defendants were accused of relentlessly tormenting Ms. Prince”.

Even the president has taken a strong stance on the issue of bullying. He stated, “We’ve got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a inormal rite of passage”.

In my work as a school teacher and principal, I have observed and dealt with numerous cases of bullying. What is not discussed often enough is how these acts of bullying can cause long-lasting effects for the victims.

Recently I watched a video about a young man who successfully sued his school district for turning a blind eye to the abuses he suffered from bullies because he was gay. The vicious acts he suffered lasted from middle school through his secondary-school years. Fortunately, this young man had helpers who encouraged him to fight back against a system that condoned the abuse. Unfortunately, many targets of bullies do not have the chance to fight back. The bullying they suffer sometimes triggers other traumatic events they have suffered; it sometimes even causes victims to become bullies themselves. The trickle-down effect thus becomes an ugly reality for many sufferers.

 

The world of bullying has a life of its own. It takes no prisoners and its effects can be long lasting and endemic in some cases. Recently, an individual I worked with shared with me some of his personal secrets and how those personal secrets still plague his life today. He shared with me tales of such extreme bullying that his parents had to remove him from the private school they had sent him to, and educate him at home. This individual would not fit the bill for what most people would say looks like a victim. He was often taller and heavier than his peers.