The Many Faces of Bullies

By HAYLEY CHARBONNEAU

Bullying is becoming a bigger issue than ever before, causing teens and their families to take drastic measures to try to escape it. Today, bullying is not confined to public areas; thanks to social media and the likes of it, the words of bullies are ever present.

With the advent of the Internet, the face of bullying has changed – and expanded. Everything you say is permanent and easily accessible for everyone. It creates a domino effect of gossiping and rumors that can create real consequences.

“It happened in middle school, but now it is worse because there are more things to say and more ways to do it,” said Cynthia Magaña, a junior in high school who faces bullying every day.

Magaña experiences that peers say rude things about her and make racial slurs. She said she reminds herself to keep her head up and that those comments should never mean anything to her.

Some people go quite far for the purpose of bullying. With the intent to target certain individuals, some create fake Facebook accounts; this allows them to bully their victims anonymously.

While students in school can be bullied for anything under the sun, they are typically targeted because of their looks, wealth, race, or sexual orientation. Bullying happens in the classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, gym, and even on the buses. Certain cliques target each other, and there is still a popularity totem pole that runs the school.

Cambridge Squared Education tutor Claudia Aguirre works with students from elementary levels to 12th grade. Many of her older students come for the extra education because of being bullied in school.

One particular student, Marina Belotserkovskaya, was featured on 11-alive news after making an anti-bullying video. Her video was an inspiration to many as she said she faced many obstacles because of her sexuality. And now she is part of an Anti-Defamation League.

“It’s a new era … we don’t put up with the bullying [at Cambridge Squared Education],” said Aguirre.

Bullying is an ever present problem that cannot be ignored; the resources of the bully today are many and the ability to stay anonymous has created new issues. It is all too easy to take on the identity of someone else, which amplifies the capacity to hurt someone. Educators, parents and lawmakers alike have to form a unified front and send the strong message that bullying will not be tolerated anywhere.

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