Wars are not just fought overseas.
There is a war being fought in the classrooms, on the playgrounds and behind computer screens — and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Last week, there was a new anti-bullying act introduced into the state House of Representatives as the Safe Schools Act. We commend the Rep. Dan Truitt, R-Westchester for introducing this bill and bringing this issue to light.
Bullying is a problem that needs to be ameliorated — and the only way to do this is to push for more national recognition. This bill is a step in the right direction.
In an age where suicide has surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 killer, according to a study done by the American Journal of Public Health, this is a time when we need to take immediate and swift action and ensure that bullying isn’t feeding into this suicide statistic.
It’s time to take a stand and put a stop to bullying — on the computer and in person, it has to end.
Nowadays, bullying is an issue that seems to be expanding far beyond the school grounds.
In the age of Facebook and Twitter, cyber-bullying is rearing its ugly head and making it easier for people to say hurtful things, behind the safety of their computer screen. Facebook and Twitter are now places that people can post pictures and statuses about someone, without them knowing — or being able to stop them.
It’s behavior that should be stopped by bystanders and it’s behavior that should be stopped by law. People can talk a big talk when there are no real consequences for their actions.
People can post demeaning comments anonymously, knowing that no one will ever have to know. We’re at a time in the 21st century, where it’s no longer the norm to “sleep on it” and talk to someone calmly the next day.
Instead, we can tweet at someone, write an angry Facebook post or text a rude comment at the exact moment we want to.
And at college campuses, we have another form of bullying as well. Hazing at this university has continued to be a problem and that isn’t just an issue in greek life. It happens in other organizations, too. Hazing is present at Penn State, whether we like it or not. This form of bullying needs to be addressed in this bill as well. No student should join a club, fraternity, sorority or sports team and be forced into any activities that fall under the umbrella of hazing. But, for that to happen, the problem of bullying and hazing need to be explicitely defined, in order to actually prohibit specific actions.
We encourage the state House of Representatives to take the necessary steps at ensuring this bill is as efficient and operational as possible. The house should work at coming up with ideas and encompassing in programs that schools can implement.
This is an issue that needs to be clearly spelled out, so schools and universities can move forward in the combat against bullying.