Dear America: Schools Aren’t Preventing Bullying

Why aren’t the attempts to stop bullying working?



Kids have had to deal with bullying since the beginning of time, and this tradition shows no sign of stopping.

Jocelyn Klinghard, Staff Writer

Schools are always trying to find new ways to deal with bullying and eliminate it as much as they can. Meanwhile, students sit through endless anti-bullying assemblies and heartfelt books or movies trying to convince them not to bully their fellow peers.

The question is–are all these attempts helping anything?

From what I have seen from going through the first nine years of schooling, it is clear that it changes nothing.

This isn’t to say that schools don’t care about bullying or that they don’t try their best to get students to treat each other with respect. However, their attempts do not fully eliminate bullying: in fact, it seems that it has introduced a new form of bullying.

Bullies have found loopholes in what teachers will notice and use different tactics. This new form of bullying is what keeps kids quiet from reaching out to teachers and other adults to talk about the problems they are facing.

Our vice principal, Mr. Liporto, shares how he would describe this new form: “That comes up a lot, the whole term ‘I don’t want to be a snitch.'”

From what people have experienced, it is easier to not say anything than to report the bullying and get bullied even worse for involving teachers. Simply saying that bullying is wrong and providing people for students to go to is not enough to stop bullying.

In any kid’s mind, it isn’t even considered to report what they are going through because it’s just not socially accepted.

It is because of this that students stay quiet and teachers believe that they have made a change in the amount of bullying. They don’t realize that bullying is no longer stealing a kid’s lunch money or beating them up in the hallway; it is more verbal and done in secret.

Bullying can come in many forms that some people may not know about. (

Bullying comes in many forms. In elementary school it is much easier to catch due to it commonly being physical and nothing more. However, as kids get older and technology is introduced, cyberbullying is much more common. Our country has one of the highest rates of cyberbullying. Teachers or adults might never be able to see this, but the way it affects kids, who are still trying to figure out who they are, is life-changing.

Bullying will forever be a problem, and it can’t be solved by endless talks about why it’s wrong.

Studies have shown that the youth suicide rate has increased dramatically (30% since 2000) because of bullying and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Each day in our nation there is an average of 3,703 suicide attempts from students in grades 9-12. This is the second leading cause of death for young ages and a major reason why is the frequent bullying that nobody has ended.

Being bullied can make children of all ages feel alone and helpless and these feelings take kids to dark places. (

If attempts to stop bullying were truly working these numbers would be decreasing; however, it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.

Bullying has not only led to suicides but also, tragically, frequent school shootings. These events have created fear in everyone’s minds to put themselves and their children in positions that could be life-threatening.

Students who are already going through rough patches, and are getting bullied in a place that is supposed to be a safe environment, decide to lash out in these awful ways that can affect an entire school.

This can not continue and we need to find new ways to prevent this problem from getting even worse.

While interviewing Mr. Liporto, he provided insight into what the teachers think about this topic.

When asked what they have done to prevent bullying he states, “I don’t think we’re ever going to find a school where there are students or people that don’t treat others unkindly, so it’s hard to say that we can prevent it. But I can honestly say that when students, teachers, or parents do come to us with concern about students that are exhibiting bullying-type behaviors we are very successful in getting those behaviors to stop and making sure the students feel safe.”

This is a perfect example of how people should view bullying. It seems that often people see it as a problem that they are working to fix. However, this isn’t the right way to see it because it isn’t a problem that can be fixed. It is only something that we can try our best to make better and more bearable.

The best thing teachers can do is to give students resources and tactics to use against people showing bullying characteristics or things they can do to help themselves.

It is common for students to witness bullying and keep quiet due to the fear of being the “snitch”. (

Mr. Liporto goes on to share his analogy on how he feels students should look at bullying, “It’s kind of like a cavity. Unless you go to the dentist, the cavity is not going to get fixed. If you leave the cavity alone it’s going to get worse and worse and bigger until you actually take care of it.”

The thing about this analogy is that it is completely true, but it seems that students would rather live with the “cavity” than go through the process of fixing it. Even though this is not the best way to deal with problems, it is how people tend to look at situations, and maybe that is what needs to change.

The big question is what are our teacher’s new attempts to make this problem a little better? It seems that they have come up with new ways to approach these situations. “One of the things that we’re really trying to work on with students is if you don’t feel comfortable talking to an adult, how do we recognize that these situations are happening and what tools can we give the students to speak up for their peers.”

It is clear that schools are truly trying their best to step into students’ shoes for a minute and feel what they are feeling, which would be the fear to speak up. No student that has been in these types of positions can tell people that they should always speak up for themselves, because they know that it’s not always that easy.

The only thing to say is that things need to change. No student should be afraid to come to people that are there for the specific reason of being an outlet for people going through these things. All we can do is try our best to make a difference in how bullying is tolerated.