By Matilda Nilsson
You know how there was a phase in your early school years, when you just didn’t see the point of waking up early to go to school. You simply didn’t want to be there. Well, many kids feel like that every day. They don’t want to go to school – it’s a terrifying place where classmates are rude and teachers are like statues, staring at everything, but they never act. What if this was your kid, who only felt safe in your arms – would you want to let your little kid go every morning, with tearful eyes and a hard grip of your hand, quietly saying that they really don’t want to go?
I never really understood what was going on in the head of my classmates. How could anyone have the heart to throw a little girl’s hat around and not care about the fact that it was brand new? The winter up north is not exactly mild, I was freezing cold. It felt like my ears were going to fall off. They had a serious lack of empathy and respect. Well, I should be grateful actually, at least they noticed me that day, usually they just talked about me as if
I was completely invisible. I would hear that I was weird, ugly, tiny, and special. They treated me the way they did because I was special. They threw my drawings out on the floor of the hallway and stomped on them with their dirty shoes, because I was special. And yes, this happened in a school, full of third grade teachers. I keep asking myself if I deserved it, because I never told them off, I never told them to give my hat back or to stop ruining my drawings. But as a victim, is it my obligation to tell my vulgar classmates to stop?
My teachers never talked to the crude kids about their behavior. They would always stand there, glancing, but they never uttered a word. They have power, which should be used to fulfill their responsibility to make the students feel safe in school. Bullying and harassment can lead to depression, and in a worst case scenario, suicide. And if they can’t prevent it – they need to stop it. They have the power to do it, but do they? This is a problem that needs to be taken more seriously. Grown up teachers and parents cannot treat the situation like the kids are just overreacting. Depression and further problems due to bullying is something that leaves scars forever. It is a big issue in our society, and one that is hard to treat when it has gone too far. So from now on, I want to see teachers of younger kids do something about it – to teach the kids about the outcomes of bullying, to stop and prevent bullying that way too many kids suffer from.
One of the biggest news websites in Sweden states that the number of reported, bullied kids have gone up by around 340% from 2006 to 2014. Around 1.300 kids in 2014 reported being bullied to the authorities. If these numbers are not alarming I don’t know what is. It is as if the people around the victims doesn’t even care, is “ignorance is bliss” your motto in life? Change it.
If you are one of the people that ignores all the problems in our society – you need to change, Because issues like this will hunt you down and stab you in the back. The ugly truth will be exposed sooner or later – so why not do it before something bad happens? If you raise awareness about bullying to your kids – you have made a good change. You cannot save the world and solve the problem alone, but you can help. And hopefully, that will give your kids the luck of not getting their hat thrown around in the cold.
- Sveriges Television AB, Johan Juhlin, 6th October 2015 https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/allt-fler-anmaler-krankningar-i-skolan