Bullying Isn’t Going Away

Neil Bates, Reporter

1 out of every 10 teenagers drop out of high school because of bullying. At Battle, the staff tries their best to stop it at the source but it is still a problem.


Samuel Young*, a junior, has experienced bullying throughout his schooling. He often faces name-calling slurs towards his sexuality, particularly since beginning high school, and sometimes physical violence, like being pushed into lockers.


In August 2015, Young moved to Columbia, Missouri from Wisconsin. He said, “People looked at me funny and said I should be hospitalized.” He knew from day one he wasn’t understood. He felt very much like he didn’t belong in this new environment, “People said I should kill myself,” said Young, “I felt disarmed and depressed. Like why do people have to treat me so bad?”


Young came to terms with his sexuality recently and he said being out as gay did not make it easier to deal with the bullying, but it did help him come to terms with himself as a person.


The 2016-2017 school year is Young’s junior year in high school and he still experiences bullying throughout his everyday life, even during class. “Sometimes it’s hard because they bring the fire, I bring the gasoline,” Young commented.


He mentioned the largest effect the bullying has on him is he’s upset a lot at home; he’ll often find himself wanting to hit something or wanting to cry. He also said, “I can’t tell my parents because they wouldn’t understand.”


When being in situations such as these, victims often believe intervention or adult help is useless. According to no.bullying.com, over 67% of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying with a high percentage of students who believe that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.


Looking at the perspective of a guidance counselor with hands on experience is critical for a full outlook on the problem of bullying itself.


Mr. Beiner, the counselor for students with last names A-C and AVID 10 students, has been involved with education for about 7 years starting in a middle school setting. Biener indicated that much of the time it can be hard to tell the difference between students joking around with each other or there being an actual problem with bullying.


Biener says bullying as a whole has gotten progressively better from what he’s seen in his experience, but is definitely still a problem. Ultimately the most prevalent issue he’s seen at Battle is verbal abuse more than anything.


“We want school to be safe for everyone, in a school with 1,400 students there’s bound to be disagreement. Sometimes it is very tough to make the person antagonizing realize how it affects others. It really takes away from education they lose that ability to focus if they’re worried about other things,” Beiner said.
Biener firmly believes that although bullying is still a problem, it’s progressively improving and we are moving towards something better.