Bullying leads to 4,400 suicides each year

Project of Passion

4,400.. 4,400 is a big number correct? Well let’s talk about that. You could have 4,400 dogs, cupcakes, balloons, or even $4,400. 4,400 of anything is usually good, right? But unfortunately not everything is.. The reason why I am saying 4,400 is a very sad reason. This is because 4,400 suicides happen each year because of bullying in the USA.

Bullying is a huge problem, everyone knows it. A bully is someone who uses strength or power to hurt or harm someone physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Most people when thinking of bullying won’t think it’s that big of a problem but it truly is. Almost 1 out of 4 kids are bullied, and those are just the ones that report it. So that means 25 kids are typically bullied in a grade level as long as they tell someone.

A big problem with bullying is that they don’t tell people when they are being bullied. Kids think it’ll blow over or they’ll be “not-cool” but in reality they’re just hurting themselves. Students who experience bullying have an increased chance of poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. This is a bad thing because think about it, being depressed every day at school because of some kid thinking that they’re better than you is horrible. During school you’re usually stressed out enough and now you have to be picked on by someone else too.

But let’s focus back on the bully. There are always two victims to bullying, the bully and the bullied. Not many people realize that the bully is at risk too. Students who engage in bullying behavior  are at a greater risk of academic problems, drug usage, and violent behavior in adulthood. Bullies also typically have a reason to bully. It is not right to bully at all but they may be having problems at home or even at school.

Another thing that is important to talk about is the fine line between bullying and teasing or joking. When a kid teases someone you shouldn’t necessarily count that as bullying. Everyone makes a joke or teases someone once in awhile about something and that doesn’t mean they meant to hurt your feelings. If someone continuously does it though, that’s when it’s a problem. Bullying is mainly someone trying to make themselves feel better in front of others. That is why it usually happens in big groups.

What  comes to mind when you think of a bully situation? Most people think of a school punk asking for some kids lunch money in the hallway. That can happen but there is another big bully situation.. Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying affects so many kids because it is so easily to be done. Kids pick cyberbullying because they won’t see the person’s reaction or won’t be guilty at what they’ve done. It’s also a lot easier to say something to someone without actually verbally saying it. 19.6% of teens reported being cyberbullied in the past year. That’s about every 1 in 5 kids. Be honest with yourself for a moment, have you ever cyberbullied? It can really hurt someone and has the same effects as bullying, if not worse. When the victim is being cyberbullied they don’t have to hold in their emotions so typically they cry or do self harm if it is that bad.

When someone is bullied it sticks to them for awhile. They may never forget. That is why suicides happen. Every kid who gets bullied has increased chances of suicide. Students victimized by their own peers are 2.4 times more likely to report suicide ideation. They are 3.3 times more likely to actually attempt it. So many kids have succeeded at it and it’s horrible. Imagine if one day you woke up and you found out that your best friend committed suicide because of bullying and you didn’t even know it was going on because they never told anyone. I know I would be devastated.

The last thing I’ll be talking about is what is the typical bullying situation girls and boys would be in. Boys are usually physical or verbal when bullying. While on the other hand girls are more verbal or social. Each sides can cyber bully, and both sides usually do more often than you think. No matter what boys and girls feelings can be hurt just the same.

Bullying is a big problem and it has been forever. I don’t think it can be stopped, there are too many kids who do it and to stop everyone would be tough. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be prevented. If every day you thought of something that might seem offensive or hurt someone’s feelings, may be just keep it to yourself. Think about the kids who don’t like it or get really hurt, how they’ll feel. If everyone put in a little effort I’m positive it would make a difference. 4,400 is a big number, and I hope soon it won’t be one of the labels put on bullies and the effects they have.

The Kings’ Courier agreed to print Clara Licklider’s well-written Project of Passion essay that she wrote for Mrs. Smith’s class.