Bullying has always been one of the most horrific experiences that youngsters could suffer from during their school years. As a matter of fact, bullying scars not only the victim, it also has its negative side effects on the bullies themselves and the bystanders who undergo a certain inner struggles torn between defending the victim and standing up for what they believe to be right and losing their “social status” in school or even becoming victims of bullying themselves.
Schools, parents, supervisors, educators as well as students have been coming up with various techniques and creative methods to help them with their fight against bullying. Attention was shifted towards the issue of bullying after several students have ended their own lives at tender ages as a result of feeling depressed as they were getting constantly bullied by colleagues either in schoolyards, classes, school halls or even within their own homes.
Parents and supervisors at school could meet bullying with a shoulder shrug and not give it the kind of attention that is worthy to such vastly spreading issue. School bylaws are supposed to protect students from bullying only that incidences are not reported and students mingle and interact off school territory as well where they are supposed to be protected by their parents or guardians – the bullying issue still persists.
Students are subject to all sorts of bullying through school and as known, bullying does not represent an issue to the victim solely, bullying needs to be combated because the bully needs help as well and the bystander should not be subjected to a continues struggle between protecting the victim and protecting themselves.
The kind of feelings the three people involved in the bullying act (the victim, the bully and the bystander) are complex and need to be resolved as soon as they are taken notice off, that way the damage effect bullying has one one’s psychological health can be controlled and contained before it turns into something bigger (A study shows that bullies and victims have a higher chance of using drugs, abusing alcohol and committing suicide as they grown up).
Fighting bullying has become a global cause where government, NGO’s, educators, teachers, parents and students join forces to work towards that cause.
One of the most popular ways that has been presented as a way to fight bullying is assigning an anti-bullying day or week where people engage in activities that help promote anti-bullying culture. The activities include wearing – with anti-bullying messages, designing anti-bullying posters, inviting bands to play in the streets and encourage them to write anti-bullying songs and so on.
Events with a cause like this are usually successful but them end and people forget about them a few days into the year. Anti-bullying activists became aware of the fact that they needed something that is solid and that would serve as a reference when needed. Blog posts served as a solid way to go as well as organizations that are dealing with bullying and have a hotline to call in case one cannot deal with a bullying situation they are witnessing in a proper manner. Still, bullying needed to be seen and heard of through the eyes of the people involved with it. Students were encouraged to express themselves and their fears through various forms of art, including poetry which has proven to serve the anti-bullying cause rather well.
When a student is involved with bullying and starts to express themselves in a positive enlightening manner, this severs more than just one person. On the one hand, the poet gets to have an outlet for their unresolved feelings and emotions. On the other hand, other people who are struggling with bullying can read the poem and feel less alone and maybe even encouraged to report or take a stand against the bullying thy witness. Words through history have always been known to be a very powerful tool this is why addressing bullying though poetry is a popular action these days.
Websites specialized in fighting bullying as well as armature blogs encourage students to publish their poetry about bullying so that other people can see it in hopes it would change the way people underestimate the pain of being bullied or the ache of seeing something wrong and not being able to stop it.
Usually, the poetry about bullying found online is written through the eyes of the victim, but there is also poetry describing the regret and remorse that the bystanders are feeling because they are not standing up for the bullying they see in school.
Poetry serves the anti-bullying cause well when published as it remains a reference to offer support and help to people struggling with bullying in school.
In one specific poem, a girl is describing the kind of bullying she goes through everyday not only in school, but her parents contribute to her pain at home. Little do we know about the home that hosts a victim of bullying but it has been found that victims are most likely bullied in their own homes by their parents or stepparents without either parties realizing it. The bullying which happens at home sometimes backfires and makes the victim at home, a bully in school. Parents should be extra careful with the kind of examples they are setting to their own children at home.
The girl in the poem goes on talking about how she slid into depression and started cutting, smoking and drinking in an attempt to ease all her pain. The kind of bullying that is described in this poem is emotional. In a way, she is fighting for a place to belong and all she is met with is meanness and rejection. She smokes and drinks to “fit in” but is still treated as an outcast. Her distress grown with her to manifest itself in the form of weight or body issues which adds to her misery and loneliness, she slips into drug abuse.
Getting bullied constantly by her stepfather, her classmates at an age when one is desperate for a feeling of belonging or security wears you out and leaves you with all the wrong choices in case it is not addressed in the right time with the right manner.
Another poem handles exactly that feeling. It is written out for those who are experiencing bullying to try and make them see that other people feel their pain too and that they are not alone.
The bullying referred to in their piece comes off as verbal abuse which directs the victim into someone who has lost their self confidence and is now looked upon as a weak pathetic person. The victim in this piece is handling their bullying in a passive manner where they simply ignore the bully, wishing they would get bored and eventually move on. This does not always happen. Failing to report the bullying you are going through will most likely fail in stopping it.
Opposing to that route of fighting, another poem is written by a victim who almost killed their bully by biting their neck. The victim describes that they regret how violent of a turn the situation went out to be but also blame the bully for bringing out the worst in them. Fighting bullying in a proactive healthy manner rules out any more violent reactions the victim might turn to.
Through the exercise of bullying and poetry, expressing the feelings of anxiety and stress in a poem makes the connection between the problem and the methods of solving it easier to establish. Reading these poetry about bullying gives researchers and care takers a way into seeing the pain the victims are going through and allows room for peacefully settling bullying situations in schools and school playgrounds. Carrying out research on the forms of bullying the youngsters are experiencing is crucial to help solve the problem and the form is very obvious if expressed through poetry.
For instance, suicidal tendencies become more evident when read in a poem written by a victim, thus, the flag is raised and a rescue team consisting mainly of the victims’ parents or teachers has to come and help. Without a flashing light that announces the kind of danger the victim is in, the rescue team is bound to not find anything worthy or rescuing. The result of such could be disastrous. Many cases of bullying end up in suicide as a result of the lack of attention given to the cries for help sent subtly by the victims to the people who could help them. Many parents meet their children’s reactions to distress by a shoulder shrug or even more bullying in the form of punishment that is imposed in an attempt to “teach them manners”. Victims fear reporting cases of cyber-bullying, for example, so as not to have internet privileges of phones taken away from them and the result is more bullying as they go while their parents or care-takers see nothing alarming about the situation.
Victims resort to suicide when they feel like it is the only way out of their pain and with the lack of attention their reporting is handled with, the resort gets nearer and nearer.
Bullying and Poetry could work hand in hand to put an end to all of this. It helps relieve the stress of the victim, it teaches the bullies about the pain they cause, it addresses the regrets and remorse of the bystander who did not act up to their own understanding of right and wrong and last but not least, send the flash lights the care-takers need to see to be able to identify bullying and try to make it better.