By Tolu Salako, BubbleLife Intern
Bullying, which is a problem at schools all over the world, has evolved from occasional name calling to more permanent, technologically-advanced forms, such as cyberbullying.
On Oct. 23, Richard Guerry held a conference about the negative effects of cyberbullying at Coppell Middle School North.
“Students do not understand that what you post online is public and permanent,” Guerry said. “Anything you post online can easily be found again even if deleted, (and students) need to be very careful of what they post on the Internet.”
Students at schools all over America, including Coppell High School, have been victims of bullying in various ways. Many guests have been invited to talk about the issues at Coppell's middle schools and high school.
On Oct. 25, two members from Team Impact came to the Coppell High School large gym and talked about bullying.
“You know that saying, ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me’?” Team Impact member Jeff Neal said. “That unfortunately is not the case, and it is the words that have the most impact on a person’s life.”
For years, both Team Impact and Richard Guerry have been speaking to schools across the nation to accentuate the importance of anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying.
Richard Guerry wrote a book titled Public and Permanent: The Golden Rule, which emphasizes the negative aspects of digital media, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and other poor social media behavior.
“People need to find the cause of (cyberbullying, sexting, etc.) if communities want to prevent the effects of abusing technological use,” Guerry said
Bullying does not always have to be online and verbal, and during the presentation, Team Impact Member Randall Harris shared his personal story about being bullied while he was in elementary school.
“(In elementary school,) I would always tried to be the best student that I could be,” Harris said. “But once the teacher left, a student behind me slapped me on the back of my head, and I fell. Then, students started kicking me when I was down, and no other students helped to stop what was going on.”
Harris was describing the bystander effect, which is when those that observe something, which is obviously wrong, just stand there and do nothing. Team Impact touched on the subject of how even bystanders can help resolve bullying in different ways, such as by telling an adult.
“Students are often scared to tell a parent, a teacher or an administrator that they are being bullied, but kids need to do this,” Harris said. “I did this when I was young, and I was never bullied again."
The members of Team Impact and Richard Guerry touched on some of the problems that occur at school that are extremely important to be aware of, during their presentations to Coppell students. All forms of bullying can harm an individual, so the speakers gave students tips and helpful strategies to prevent bullying in these various forms.