By Jessica Ramirez

Throughout the past few years, we have seen the rise of many social media platforms as a result of new technologies. These often serve as great methods of communication that facilitate interactions with others, however, they also provide a platform for inappropriate actions like bullying and harassment to take place. With the conclusion of October, National Bullying Prevention Month, it is important to raise awareness among our peers and educate each other about what bullying really is, how to stop it, and how to prevent it from continuing in the future.

Bullying can be defined as the act of belittling someone through physical, verbal, or emotional unwanted aggression. Although traditionally depicted as a form of physical abuse, the increasing use of social media, and other forms of online interaction, have resulted in increased reports of cyber-bullying. This new digital age has allowed for bullying to follow students from school to their homes, which is a burden that often becomes too much for students to handle. The physical and emotional stress that bullying can have on young minds can have long-term effects that prevent students from succeeding in school or leading normal lives. Because of this, it is important that we all work towards eradicating bullying in all its forms in order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

The following are ways in which you could make a change here in South Gate High School:

  1. Speak up: Whether you are a victim of bullying or a witness of it, the right thing to do is always to report it to a trusted adult. No matter how insignificant some things may seem, reporting it is the best way to prevent it from evolving into a chronic issue. Often, victims of bullying don’t speak up out of fear, making it that much more important to provide a voice to those who don’t have one.
  2. Talk to the people around you: Students who are bullied often don’t talk about their feelings, which is a big reason why bullies are able to further their aggressions. By providing an outlet to those who bottle up their feelings, you can provide some form of relief to people who are being bullied.

Set a good example: Many high school students tend to overlook bullying as a relevant issue, thus, allowing it to continue happening without being addressed. It is never a bad idea to be kind to everyone around you because this can make others feel welcome in a setting where they usually aren’t. Be respectful of others and consider their feelings, even if they are different from yours. At the end of the day, we must stand together to get rid of bullying and create a greater change in society.

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