As if you were made of glass
By Roula Al Sagheer
Roula Al Sagheer, a student, is seventeen years old and volunteers as an editor for TüNews. In her everyday life at school, she often observes cases of bullying, and decided to write about the problem:
“It may seem strange to you, but imagine that you are made of glass, transparent. Completely invisible. No one sees you and no one hears you, regardless of how loud you scream. But, as soon as someone sees you, they try to break you, by any means possible. Sounds uncomfortable, right?
Studies show that one in three students in this country feels like this every day. This is the phenomenon of bullying, a widespread problem in many schools. Bullying occurs in multiple forms, from words and deliberate ignoring, up to physical or sexual violence. Bullying often affects children who are somehow different, especially those who look different. Bullying produces a tremendous negative effect on the victims. In the worst cases, it leads to suicide.
How can we deal with bullying and prevent it? Four different groups must come together to solve the problem and to prevent it from even occurring.
- Parents: Teach your children from a young age to be strong and fair. You cannot neglect this for a single moment – an unbelievable amount can happen in a minute. Your child will, most likely, not tell you if they experience problems at school. Most likely, talking to them won’t bring the truth – they’ll be hesitant to tell you. If your children show some of the following signs, they might be a victim of bullying: erratic behavior, sleeping too much, not talking much, or not eating enough, even their favorite food. This is the time to do something. You could contact the school or administrators or teachers. You could enroll your students in a martial arts class to help them defend themselves and build confidence.
Your child might not just be the victim of bullying but could also be a bully themselves. If you realize they are, you need to act immediately.
- Teachers: Your task is more than just teaching math or German. You need to ensure every child in your class feels comfortable in the classroom and develops a strong moral compass. These children are the future of the world.
- Bullies: We don’t know specifically why you act the way you do, but we know you have your own problems. Bullying others does nothing to solve those problems. Everyone has problems, problems we didn’t create for ourselves. But all of us must decide for ourselves how we respond to those problems. Life is a cycle. Everything you do will come back to you eventually.
- Victims of bullying: You have the hardest task, but you also have the power to stop the bullying. Tell someone you trust, or if that’s too hard, write it down. Be strong and annoy the bully with your smile, despite the hurt. Remember, the bully is targeting you because you have something special, something they don’t have. And if they try to throw you down and break you, show them how you can soar, that you are not made of glass.”