Bullying Awareness Month: putting a stop to the bullying epidemic

By Julia DeRogatis

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By Julia Derogatis | Staff Writer October 9, 2012

A snide remark about a person’s outfit and a menacing glare during passing period are enough to cause a person to feel worthless, insecure, and unappreciated.

As a preventative and acknowledgement to the harsh reality of teenage bullying, Dos Pueblos is recognizing October as Bullying Awareness Month.

Dos Pueblos is recognizing October as Bullying Awareness Month. (Julia Derogatis / Photo)

While the teenage years are inevitably filled with drama, self-discovery, and staking one’s independence, it has become more evident that bullying is a integrated part of our society.

Dos Pueblos students have had their fair share of bullying experiences, either on a personally or indirectly.

For junior Laila Halimi, a practicing Muslim, she has experienced discrimination and the effects of bullying first hand.

“When I was seven, someone looked at me and sneered ‘Osama,'” Laila says as she reveals her hurtful past experiences. “I couldn’t believe someone said that.”

Laila believes that bullies prey on those who are different,  and she proudly admits that she is the opposite of conformity.

“I like to represent who I am, not who the group is,” Laila says.

Even with this firm sense of self, Laila has still felt pushed to the breaking point by her peers’ condescension and taunting.

“I was upset that they were trying so hard to pick on me,” Laila says. “It [was] that moment when you know you are gonna cry.”

Junior Ashley Almada has seen bullying throughout the high school environment and defines it as people with “big egos” picking on others who they think aren’t as good as them.

Ashley is aware of the possibility of being bullied and because of this she has had to be cautious and keep her real friends close.

She also knows never to ignore the bullying she sees. “You learn to not just let it go,” she says, revealing that she tries her hardest to help anyone who is victimized.

Bullying has increasingly been brought to the forefront of American’s attention because of the horrific events caused in part by bullying, such as the Columbine shooting, that have taken place in recent years.

Teenagers in general face the toughest challenge throughout the high school years because of the amount of pressure to “fit in.”

But the condescending remarks, the snide comments, and the physical abuse need to stop if the bullying epidemic is to come to a close.

There are, however, the lucky few who manage to avoid the seemingly unavoidable bullying occuring on high school campuses.

Senior Margot Barker is enjoying her final year at Dos Pueblos and admits that she has never been bullied.

“I generally feel accepted by my peers,” Margot says, explaining that her friends and softball team have all been highly supportive of her throughout the years.

Despite her confidence and supportive group of friends, Margot has been indirectly affected by bullying by witnessing or hearing students taunt others.

It has made her realize that in life there will always be bullies.

Margot wisely remarks, “It is important to learn to stand up for yourself now and to find people to support you.”

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