UNITED STATES—It does seem like an issue that is constantly going overlooked in this country and it raises a question as to why. Why are we not doing more to tackle the issue of bullying in our country? So many seem to think bullying is a rite of passage, but what people fail to realize is that bullying is not as harmless as you think. It can have everlasting impacts on people and all are not good as a result.

We have heard of students who committed suicide as a result of constant bullying and feeling like there was no escape in site. Why is it that people think a little bullying here and there toughens up a person? Unfortunately if you’re dealing with a bully you have to find a way to stand up to the bully to neutralize the situation, but at the same time violence never solves the problem, but if your bully knows they can no longer bully it changes things.

As a kid I was bullied for being smart. I cannot tell how frustrating it was for people to tell me that at a point in my life I would become a dummy and my intelligence would be a hinder for me because people would not want to associate with me as a result. So imagine as a 7 or 8 year-old being told this by your older brothers and their friends. What would that do to your confidence? It would make you question rather it was cool or acceptable to be smart. The term nerd and geek was thrown around like it was common nature people. The great thing about growing up in the 80s is the fact that you did not have social media that now adds fuel to the fire.

Nowadays, we do and that makes the situation worse because kids are just cruel, but it also goes back to the home. It always starts in the home people. A bully doesn’t just become a bully overnight, it’s likely that bully might be bullied and is taking his or her frustration out on other kids; ones who they deem inferior to them. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s a fact people.

So what can we do to address this issue of bullying so it doesn’t become a pandemic? Well talk about it more first is key! So many people seem to think kids, tweens and teens should just get over it. No, America that is not the solution. Bullying can lead to extreme isolation, and that isolation can lead to loneliness and it can also impact a person’s confidence level. All people should have the right to mingle with their peers and kids who might want to associate with the victim of bullying might be skeptical as a direct result of them being bullied. Do you see what I’m saying? Bullying leads to a domino effect that can have everlasting effects.

The bystander effect needs to be neutralized. If you see a kid or teen being bullied step in and intervene. Let it be known to others it’s not cool and if you see it you’re going to call people out on it. Don’t sit around and do nothing people, by doing that you’re only pushing adding fuel to the fire people. In addition, school officials need to step in more. Yeah, it might not be your job to babysit social dynamics, but you can be that shoulder for someone to share an issue that is problematic that others are not privy to people.

With social media, people are now publishing actual incidents on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So imagine the embarrassment of dealing with a troubling situation firsthand, then having to relive it over and over again because everyone is watching it on social media. You know what is worse, people start sharing those posts and videos and before you know it, it becomes too much for some people. Would you want to have blood on your hands for the death of someone if it could have been prevented?

This is not saying everyone that is bullied cannot overcome it because you can, and it’s not saying that those who are bullied will ultimately commit suicide, but quite a few has done so, so it is an issue people so we need to acknowledge that. Bullying in schools exists even if we think it does not. If anything it is worse in the present day than it was in the past.