Sarah Stultz: Youth must learn the impacts of bullying

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I have come across two things on social media this week that have been disappointing concerning our area youth.

The first was a social media account created to make fun of students of a political party and the second was a video of a student being physically assaulted and bullied in a bathroom at one of the schools.

I was saddened in both situations to see that students found bullying of their peers acceptable and that not just one, but many, were bystanders at minimum.

The social media account contained not a handful but 82 students who followed the user. The user asked the followers to submit people to post about.

With the incident in the bathroom, there were other students looking on — watching — and at least one person who was recording.

I am saddened that this type of behavior is happening amongst the youth in our community.

As I have thought about these two incidents, it makes me question whether we do a good enough job of teaching our children about the impact of their actions. I also question where these youth are learning this type of behavior and why they think it is acceptable.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule?

I also reflected on the youth who are standing by as this behavior is happening. We must empower our youth to know that they can stand up for what is right and that if they are too afraid to do that themselves, that they should reach out to a trusted adult for intervention.

While I know that this problem does not apply to all of our youth — there are many youth out there who are good examples of standing up for their peers and being inclusive for all — it does seem to be an issue that needs to be addressed.

I hope that parents in our community will take a few minutes and talk about these two instances with their children. Use this as a teaching moment — a chance for them to learn critical life lessons.

They must learn, if they don’t already know, that this is not acceptable.

 

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.