Target: A Bullseye on Your Back

Picture Credit from NewVoices.org

By: Tiffany Mar ’21 (Guest Writer)

Imagine a place where people are bullied just because they are perceived as being different. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. Teens are bullied everyday regardless of size, age, and background.

According to the Nation Bullying Prevention Center, 1 in 4 children in the U.S. have been bullied and around half of teens and adolescents have reported being bullied online.

Griffin was one of these victims. Names have been changed for anonymity.

Griffin’s story began in sixth grade. “ I had an experience with cyber, verbal and physical bullying.” Unfortunately,  Griffin was bullied by one of his best friends, Piper. Their friendship was good, but there were many instances where their opinions clashed.

“It began when Piper messaged me about homework and kept accusing me of not sending it to her, even though I had already sent it to her via email.”

Not long after, Piper started to send Griffin text messages. The conversation was first about the assignment from class, but quickly changed to a different topic, a disagreement about their friendship.  The argument moved to Instagram and the messages contained lots of malice and derogatory language.

Not long after, Griffin had a physical run in with Piper in school. When things got heated Piper “ripped my bag off my shoulders and now I’ve got a scar on my arm for it” Griffin recalled.

Targets of bullying do not have to go through events like this alone. Notre Dame High School Counselor Mr. Bill Kearn advises that “A target of bullying should seek out an adult… to support them.”

According to the National Bullying Prevention Center only 36% of children who are bullied report it, while the other 64% do not.

Griffin ended up telling his parents, and consulted the school and the school’s counselor about the bullying.

After the incident, Griffin and Piper did not stay friends.

If you find yourself in this situation, you can respond in the following ways. You can walk away, speak up and speak out. You can use humor to deflect the situation.

In every instance keep a record of the situation and always tell someone.

If you are a target of bullying or know someone is who is being bullied, the counseling department is the best resource to help you handle the situation.

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