Q&A: “I’m in a rough middle school, do you know anything that can stop the harassment some of us get for being different than what goes for “cool” around here?"
It is really hard to feel like you are being singled out and picked on. I think we’ve all been there. But it can help to remember that you actually aren’t out there alone. We need to ask ourselves, “Realistically, how many bullies are there compared to the number of us who are either the targets or the bystanders? Don’t you think the rest of us outnumber bullies? So why do they have all of the power? It’s time to take our power back. Rosalind Wiseman (author of Queen Bees and Wanabees, which was the inspiration for the movie “Mean Girls”), gives us a great tool to stand up for ourselves called SEAL. Check it out. Even if you only do one of these steps, you’re successful. It doesn’t mean that everything is going to magically get better, but if we don’t start standing up to bullies in smart ways, then they win all the time.
In a recent video on her site, Rosalind Wiseman said that the when a bullies choose their actions they have to be willing to take the consequences. In other words, “choose your actions, choose your consequences.” The same is true for us. What are the consequences of our not standing up for ourselves? The answer seems pretty obvious, the bullying will probably continue. So, what might be the consequences when we DO stand up for ourselves? Well, it could very well stop the bullying or it is possible it may not change their mean behavior at all. But either way, you’ve done something. You weren’t the silent victim giving the message that it is okay to treat me this way. Standing up will make you feel better and stronger, giving yourself the respect you deserve.
Finally, don’t suffer alone. It’s always good to tell others, especially an adult, and it doesn’t have to be your parents. It can be a counselor, teacher, sister, aunt. Let them help you decide whether or not to talk to someone in authority at your school. Telling is not snitching – it’s part of standing up for yourself and for all those other people who are targets.
A group of Windsor Mill Middle School kids put together the video “Stress & Drama” which looks at one of the thousands of situations out there.