OpinionBullies never get the last laugh
Bullies never get the last laugh
August 22, 2012
August 22, 2012

Whoever said this line must have been crazy, and those who believe in this line are equally as crazy. Why?

Bullies have taken over the world or at least the US. From the start of kindergarten bullying statistics in 2010 have shown that one out of seven children have a bully and as the student moves on to grade school, some 90 percent would be bullied in some form—physical, verbal, social alienation, intimidation and our favorite, cyber bullying.

In grade school, one out of four have a bully, and eventually, one out of ten would drop out of school because of bullying, as 160,000 students miss school a day because they could not face their bully.

In high school, bullying gets even worse. Fifty six percent of students have seen bullying take place inside school, as 71 percent of students believe that bullying is an ongoing problem while 15 percent of the student population does not show up for school because of a fear of being bullied.

College paints the same picture despite the thought that the bullies have stopped or have changed. Though the statistics have gone down, 18.5 percent of the population has been bullied one or twice in college, which is probably a whole lot worse than name calling in kindergarten and lunch money disappearing in the grade school. The list of statistics goes on.

Around 28 percent have seen bullying take place, and just when you thought that the professors who represent the university would stand up for you, statistics show otherwise; one out of five students have been bullied by a professor, as 45 percent have seen a professor, probably verbally abusing a student.

Professors, but especially college graduates would eventually become industry leaders, managers, businessmen, engineers, and the like, and most of these people have experienced being bullied, and as a result, have become bullies themselves.

Bullies have indeed taken over the world, and though one can argue that the statistics could be different for the Philippines, the question is how far away would the statistics be when the Philippines has the most number of inquiries about cyber bullying (the most predominant type of bullying)?

Not far because around 90 percent of inquiries about cyber bullying come from the Philippines and though we may have different languages and cultures, bullying in universal.

Bullying is an intentional attempt by one or more individuals to physically hurt and/or psychologically inflict pain on one or more victims. It happens regardless of the amount of power, gender, position or anything for that matter.

The thing about bullying is that people do not need to look like they had a trauma or that they tried to cut themselves to qualify as being bullied. These are extreme cases, and these do happen, but really, all it takes is a couple of hurtful words or a tap on the back to hurt someone, destroy dreams and topple confidence built throughout a bully-filled high school.

Apparently, bullies have really taken over every aspect of our lives be it in the family or in school. I really cannot give any accurate statistic about bullying in DLSU, but it really does not take that much effort to look at the school as a dog eat dog kind of place—a perfect breeding ground for bullying like many other institutions that do are smart enough to avoid it. Moreover, there is a growing culture that applauds and accepts bullying as a norm and denounces those being bullied simply because they could not protect themselves.

Take for example the University. I know of two cyber bullying cases that were filled two years ago. The first went to a committee; the second did not because a student filed it despite several professors saying that the case had merit. The first came through because a Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) employee took pity and had asked for the case to be investigated.

Similarly, two cheating cases were reviewed last year. The first was acquitted by the previous president despite a previous decision that rendered the student guilty while the latter saw a change from not guilty to guilty when a legal representative and now a party list representative have found Commision on Higher Education complaint merits.

Bullying has evolved. It has become preferential treatment—discrimination—and a disposition to do nothing when clearly something needs to be done simply because it is not beneficial to the self and would not protect one’s position.

Some professors are equally as guilty as the University; some build egos on students who just want to ask questions because of their own personal mantra, while others let these professors do what they want. The sad part is, most would agree that many of these professors teach subjects that should promote justice and rights.

Students for the most though are to blame for the rampant spread of bullying. Many students free ride on projects, disrespect teachers and people from their own communities. The worst part is, many idolize the bullies who have then on become student leaders.

Many ask students to stand up to the bullies, but who will protect these students who muster enough courage to speak and to fight back, without really fighting back because the University does not allow it?

The truth is that bullies overrun the school because being a bully has become the in thing. It is the ideal state, and perhaps the few students who refuse to accept this should just stay on the sidelines and think of the statistic that children who bully by age 8 have more of a chance of getting a criminal offense/ record by 30, until someone fixes the problem.