There's no such thing as harmless bullying

The bullying in school started with small things like criticising the way she tied her hair or her handwriting. They made her feel that she would rather die or be anywhere else in the world but here. Then they started to body shame her. One time she threw her lunch out the window and told everyone not to give her any food. The criticism started getting worse. M was scared of everything around her and wanted to stay out of school for a while.

I was talking to one of my friends M who shared her experience recently. And at some point she joined hands with those who took to extremely cruel ways of humiliation and started bullying others who declined to be in the gang. The leader of the gang left our school this year. M got back her peace.

Verbal bullying mainly consists of offensive remarks. Although this might not seem serious, it can escalate to the point where the victim becomes suicidal.
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Bullying is not something 'local', it is a global concern. For example, my cousin, J has also been bullied in both Belgium and Bangladesh. When he first went to Belgium, he didn't know English or French which caused him to be a target for bullies. When it happened, he couldn't tell anyone about it. He got bullied frequently for being from a different country and apparently having a lower social status. He was more verbally abused than physically. It was mostly racism.

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Bullying is undesired aggressive behaviour from classmates, family members, etc. One out of five students reports to being bullied. There are some types of bullying--- verbal, physical, social and cyber-bullying.

When bullies regularly target a kid, the kid starts struggling socially and emotionally. It becomes hard to make friends and trust people. The child starts getting lower academic grades.

Verbal bullying mainly consists of offensive remarks. Although this might not seem serious, it can escalate to the point where the victim becomes suicidal. Physical bullying is kicking, hitting, spitting, pushing, etc. Social bullying is the act when the bully uses embarrassing information as an advantage towards the victim embarrasses them in public, spreads rumours, etc. Cyber-bullying is bullying someone through the internet, sending threatening and rude texts. While most bullying takes place in school, it can also happen outside of school, like at the playground and other places.

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Kids who other kids consider 'different' from themselves are likely to be bullied. It can affect a child’s mental health, sleep pattern, eating habits and social life. When bullies regularly target a kid, the kid starts struggling socially and emotionally. It becomes hard to make friends and trust people. The child starts getting lower academic grades.

Some kids prefer to keep bullying a secret instead of talking to someone about it. Of course, the first time being bullied can be confusing. It is common for them to feel embarrassed. This makes it harder to explain, so they just avoid it. There are still some ways know if someone is being bullied. These are unexplainable wounds, unhealthy eating and sleeping patterns, sudden loss of friends, lower academic achievements, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy and self -destructive personality.

Children should be encouraged to talk to a trusted adult if they or someone else is being bullied. Children should be taught to talk about how to stand up and defend themselves
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It can result in the kid losing interest in things they used to enjoy. They might even drop out of school. Slowly they turn to drug abuse to numb the pain. Some kids have even taken their lives after being bullied. We find reports of suicide after every public examination. Family and friends often criticise kids for not scoring GPA 5. I was reading a report on a certain McKenzie Adams, aged 9. She was found in the bathroom where she hanged herself. Her family claims that it happened because of racist slurs by students called. Her family rushed her to the hospital immediately where she died. With increased drug abuse, lower grades, suicidal tendencies, there is no way that bullying can be considered harmless.

Bullying doesn’t really benefit anyone, so what’s the point? We should all accept everyone for who they are, regardless. We should learn to respect children with special needs. Children should be encouraged to talk to a trusted adult if they or someone else is being bullied. Children should be taught to talk about how to stand up and defend themselves. Kids always learn from their elders, so adults should respect and treat people with kindness too. Though it may be apparent, kids pay attention to how everyone else acts. Adults should try to be role models for them, so they know hurting others is totally unacceptable.

Pieta Aamara Rahman is a student of Class 6 at Auroni Biddaloy