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Understand Their Pain (rant)

original photo sourced from Pexels (public domain), editing done by Elizabeth Gabbard

original photo sourced from Pexels (public domain), editing done by Elizabeth Gabbard

Elizabeth Gabbard, Staff

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It seems that every year in high schools all around the nation follow this universal code to bully the freshman (or the gays, and even the mentally ill). Now maybe I just don’t understand this because I was homeschooled for two years and I still don’t get these schoolyard hierarchies. Or maybe it’s because I understand basic human rights, and grew up learning enough about empathy (and using it in my day to day life) to understand someone else’s pain. I understand what it’s like to be the underdog; the one who is picked last for everything, or never picked at all. Through personal experience of being the target of many school yard bullies, I can assure you that it’s an emotionally scarring experience. An experience that I would never wish upon anyone.

You still don’t see the “big deal,” right? To you it’s just “all in good fun” or even just a practical joke. And maybe that’s all it is to you, but the receiving end has quite a different view. On this end all we can see is the newly developing anxiety that begins to fill our heads with doubts of our own self worth, and the gut wrenching fear that we’re not needed by the ones we once called friends. Once this fear alongside raging anxiety settle in, making a home in your mind and all of your thoughts, the life ruining downward spirals and mental breakdowns ending in serious mental health issues or worse come to join the party. Of course, talking about how we feel seems like the scariest task in the world at this point, and why wouldn’t it be? Our minds have already convinced us that we have nobody, or that nobody even cares thanks to the anxiety caused by your quick witted rumors and verbal assaults.

The anxiety and fear is just scratching the surface of the crippling torment students can face within the halls of the school they once loved. Better yet, if their undeserved mistreatment goes on long enough, it can often lead to major depression or even suicide. Yes, that cruel joke you made so you could be “popular” could’ve been the last straw and pushed another student to end their life. Is your popularity worth driving someone to that point? Is it truly worth that guilt?

Everyone one of us here at Satellite have our own problems that we face every day, and in a way doesn’t that give us all something in common? Shouldn’t that give us a link that binds us together as one? I believe it does. I believe that every single student at Satellite High and schools alike have a right to a safe and comfortable learning environment, as well as a human right to be treated as an equal to his/her peers.

If you or anyone you know is currently a victim of bullying, struggling with mental health, or even becoming a bully themselves, do not hesitate to speak up. We as a student body should be striving to make our school a safe place for one another, and that can only be done if we work together. If you would like to report anything, please talk to a teacher, your guidance counselor, or any of our administration. Remember, we’re all just puzzle pieces in this life, and while you may not fit somewhere right now, you’re still needed to make the bigger picture.

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