The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 12, 2011

Too much to take

Danville High School

DANVILLE — Nearly 1 in 4 kids are bullied every month, according to the American Justice Department, and more than 4,400 children commit suicide each year due to bullying.

The school systems have enforced strict codes throughout the years, dress attire, language, symbolism used, and other forms of bullying.

Over the past few years, bullying has become a major problem. The third leading death to young people is suicide, which is more likely to be committed due to bullying than depression.

Recently, in Vermilion County, Ashlynn Connor, 10-year-old honor student at Ridge Farm Elementary School, committed suicide due to incessant bullying at school, according to her family.

Young girls ages 10-14 are more likely to kill themselves than most people in the U.S. Children all across America have either become victims or predators due to the act of bullying. Adults, young children and teenagers alike are all informed about bullying but how many actually do something?

The usual advice you could receive is to tell an adult — a teacher, counselor, parent, pastor or any trusted adult that you feel comfortable discussing the situation.

Students usually remain silent victims by not reporting any incidents that occur.

Mr. Ritz, a DHS teacher, advises students to report bullying.

“Bullying is a problem among all student levels,” Ritz said. “To those being bullied, keep your head up and know that the way people act toward you or the things they say are not a reflection of yourself.”

When asked about knowledge on the suicide rate in young teens, Mr. Ritz described his feelings as disheartened.

“It is a shame bullying was allowed to go that far for a child to feel that taking their own life was the best solution,” he said.

Mrs. Marcia Butikas is a social worker with District 118. She helps students at DHS and offers advice to students that need her help. Her advice and knowledge on bullying comes from children she has helped.

“Approximately 8 percent of students get bullied or teased at school,” Butikas said. “It is not a single race, gender, religion, social class or physical appearance. It is more common for students to be bullied by a single person, but their friends would not uncommon to join in.”

Bullying can be in any type of form. Recently, it is more common to see cyber bullying. Forms of bullying can be verbal, physical, face-to-face, behind your back, through the Internet or text.

Bullying is found everywhere in every grade. It needs to be prevented before more lives are destroyed. The loss of young lives because of bullying is a tragedy to everyone. Saying anything can help someone.

Would it not be nice to know by just saying one word could save a life? Help prevent bullying.

Please visit the following websites for more information and tips on how to stop and prevent bullying:

Tips to Avoid Being Bullied:

Ignore them and don’t pay any attention to them; eventually they will just go away.

Do not retaliate!

Tell a teacher or adult; someone you trust.

Smile and say ‘hello’; this shows that you want to reach them.

Stay away from social media to avoid cyber bullying altogether.