Predictable Bullying Seminar Sparks New Ideas

India Mawn, Staff Writer

Filing into the auxiliary gym on April 13th for an anti-bullying seminar, the freshmen and sophomore classes knew exactly what to expect. Anti-bullying events- no matter what they are- have remained the same since elementary school. There’s a victim, a bully, some supporters and followers of the bully, the defender, and of course the innocent bystander who has the power to change everything. This is what is always stressed, and was once again stressed by the presentation.

It wasn’t that the presentation was bad, but it was a waste of time. If this was a middle school full of less jaded kids who are still persuadable, it wouldn’t have been. But there wasn’t a single point from Wednesday’s presentation that we have not heard before, and thus no one took the assembly seriously. Instead, it was a break from class to socialize with friends. Everyone was far more engaged in Snapchat, or the jokes his or her friends were making, to care about the ideas that were presented.

This is frustrating to me, because bullying is a terrible thing, and it needs to be stopped. However, the school is approaching it all wrong. A bystander won’t magically transform into a defender just after a forty minute assembly. Instead of something that tries to fix the problem after it happens, the school needs to do something that prevents it from happening in the first place.

We need to become more of a community. We need to break away from the idea that high schools are made up of cliques. If we had activities, instead of assemblies, that united students and made them do things with people they wouldn’t typically associate with, things would be different. It wouldn’t be easy, and it would take a lot of time coming up with a clique-free way to include everyone. But in the end, it would be worth it.