2. Bullying is an issue which concerns young people throughout the Commonwealth. Why does it matter and what can be done about it?
Every day thousands of teens wake up afraid to go to school. Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes. Bullying has everyone worried, not just the kids on its receiving end. Yet because parents, teachers, and other adults don't always see it, they may not understand how extreme bullying can get.
Bullying is when a person is picked on over and over again by an individual or group with more power, either in terms of physical strength or social standing.
Two of the main reasons people are bullied are because of appearance and social status. Bullies pick on the people they think don't fit in, maybe because of how they look, how they act (for example, kids who are shy and withdrawn), their race or religion, or because the bullies might be racists or sexists.
Some bullies attack their targets physically, which can mean anything from shoving or tripping to punching or hitting, or even sexual assault. Others use psychological control or verbal insults to put themselves in charge. For example, people in popular cliques often bully people they categorize as different by excluding them or gossiping about them (psychological bullying). They may also taunt or tease their targets (verbal bullying).
Verbal bullying can also involve sending cruel instant or email messages or even posting insults about a person on a website — practices that are known as cyber bullying. Currently, Cyber bullying is the new kid on the block. And this trend is disturbing because bullying now trespasses the safe boundaries of home while still inflicting the psychological hurt on those receiving it. Because of the anonymous nature of cyber bullying, the insults can be more hurting than a face to face encounter. However, most students also felt that despite this happening, they always have the option to ignore...