Personal Column: Dire bullying situation needs to be better addressed

Franklin Mejia, Staff Writer

Franklin Mejia, Staff Writer

By Franklin Mejia, Staff Writer

56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school, yet 47% of the same students did not report the bullying they witnessed.

28% of students 12 to 18 years old actually reported being bullied at school.

Over the course of an entire year, 25% of students across all grades report that they had been harassed or bullied on school property because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

This is some of the information that the ASA High School Tour came and gave to the students about a month ago.

A biker takes a high jump over the top of a group of students at the Anti bullying rally sponsored by ASA Action Sports Tour and the Marine Corps. (Photo by Michelle Villegas)
A biker takes a high jump over the top of a group of students at the Anti bullying rally sponsored by ASA Action Sports Tour and the Marine Corps. (Photo by Michelle Villegas)

At the time, people were pretty dismissive about the statistics and were more taken back by the stunts made by the crew, than the actual information. This begs the question, however, as to how effective the tours actually are.

The main purpose of tours likes the ASA tour is to raise awareness in bullying, and help increase the amount of anti-bullying campaigns in schools.

Yet after only a month, mostly everyone has already forgotten about the visit.

But what can we do?

So it’s been generally established that so far, tours and assemblies aren’t that effective, save for the exceptional few that somehow captivate the audience.

And that’s the key. Captivating the audience.

In recent years, anti-bullying seminars have fallen into a set pattern. They state some info, play a video, and “encourage” kids to go out and start reporting any bullying they come across.

And that’s it.

Now there isn’t necessarily a problem with that. It’s important for kids to understand the facts concerning bullying, and not misconceptions. However, it’s all meaningless if they’re not motivated to actually do something about it.

Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and other services, we have the ability to watch/listen to anything that we want to. Meaning that if something doesn’t stand out, then people are probably just going to skip it.

So what we need to do is to change the set pattern that anti-bullying campaigns have fallen into.

The ASA High School Tour has the right idea. They brought stunt people in order to help captivate the audience, which worked, people liked that aspect of the tour. However, they’re execution wasn’t what it could be. They captivated the audience, but they didn’t deliver the motivation that students need in order to go out and do something.

And that’s what we need to fix.

As a community, we need to come together and come up with ways to captivate the audience, to inspire them, and motivate them to go out and make a difference.

As for ideas for what we could do… I’ll leave that to those smarter than me (and there’s plenty).

What’s important is that we recognize the system is failing, and that we put in the effort to either fix it, or change it completely.

Bullying is a serious problem, and we should do everything in our power to help fight against it.