Do you really know what’s going on in our schools? This is the second post in a series surrounding this question, I am shining a light on what really goes on in our schools…
School is supposed to be a happy and safe place for students to spend time with friends and be educated for their life ahead, it is one of the many ways young people socialise and develop into adults. This, however, is not always the case for a large group of young people in Australia, who are often terrified to go to school. Some situations that unfold in our schools are mind blowing and today I will be focusing on bullying and harassment in particular.
School can be hell for many teenagers, it can be a place of total discomfort and loneliness. This terrible reality is frequently caused by bullies, who seem to go out of their way to put others down and make them feel like they’re worth nothing. In schools, this can be seen daily and that shows how serious of an issue we are having to deal with. If you are fortunate enough not to have been bullied or harassed, you probably still know someone who has. If you do, you’ll know how hard it is when it is happening. Just because you haven’t been bullied personally, doesn’t mean you haven’t been affected. When friends or even family go through this very low time, you have to be the ones supporting them and sometimes you can even get mixed up in it yourself.
Last year I was in Year 7, just starting high school, it was still a totally new ball game for me. I soon realised within the first few weeks of Year 7 that high school is very different to primary school. It wasn’t that whole educational aspect that shocked me, but instead the hate, harassment and bullying that goes on. I was aware of potential bullying but I for one didn’t realise the extent to which it happens.
Throughout last year I had a friend who received a lot of hate, this person was continuously bullied for weeks. I had never seen people be so nasty to others until this time and the situation was very confronting for me, even though I wasn’t the target. To see my friend so miserable and sad because of the selfish behaviour of others, was horrible. These bullies were spoken to a number of times, still, nothing changed. Finally, after weeks of harassment and bullying, it suddenly stopped. I am not sure why, maybe they were finding it boring, maybe they were sick of the teachers telling them to stop or maybe it was because they woke up to themselves and realised what they were putting their victim through. The important part of this story is that myself and a group of others stood by our friend (the target) to make sure they were okay. Without that support, who knows what the outcome would have been.
Without us, the victim’s friends, there is a likely possibility that the harassment could be still happening today. How are schools supposed to deal with this issue? What are teachers supposed to do when this happens? It seems all they can do is tell them to stop which is pathetic because the awful bullies doing the harassing just DON’T CARE. As I saw last year, the teachers try to stop it from continuing but they have little power to do anything.
This is a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. Schools should be better armed and able to do more in the fight against bullying, harassment and disrespect. THE QUESTION IS WHAT?