Students’ wear orange to support victims and end bullying

Students+look+at+the+poster+filled+with+others%27+bullying+stories.+Photo+by+Abi+Brooks+on+Oct.+9.

Students look at the poster filled with others’ bullying stories. Photo by Abi Brooks on Oct. 9.

Pinned behind the boy’s’ locker room by four boys, she was helpless as they cut the size XXL tag off the back of her shirt to laugh and make fun of her size.

“Some people did it as a joke, but they didn’t realize how much the bullying actually hurt me,” Alise Askew said.

Because of the distress caused by being bullied throughout sixth, seventh and eighth grade, Askew had developed an eating disorder.

“I wanted to be skinny. I was tired of kids making fun of me,” Askew said.

With the help of her parents and a therapist, Askew came to the realization that the bullies lacked self confidence and had troubles at home which made them act out and treat people the way they treated her.

“I feel bad for people who bully others, they obviously have issues,” Askew said.

Askew advises any victims of bullying to talk to others and to get help.

There are also other types of bullying besides physical bullying. There’s cyberbullying, indirect bullying, verbal bullying and others.

“Last year, people would talk about me behind my back in groups and give me dirty looks,” Leena Wilson said.

Even though it was not the obvious form of bullying, Wilson still felt like a victim.

“I was really depressed for a while, but eventually most of it went away and I was better,” Wilson said.

Markley Brown, another victim, has suffered verbal abuse because of her sexuality.

“They would pick on me, and call me fag and queer bag. They said I didn’t belong there and I should go be with some other freaks,” Brown said.

Because of the bullying Brown endured, she felt almost forced to change schools.

“It made me feel horrible, like no one accepted [my sexuality] and that no one ever would. But in the end it made me a stronger person. Now I don’t listen to others and I stick up for people.”

On Oct. 9, students dressed up in orange for national unity day to oppose bullying.

Ms. Jennifer Yadon set up a list of activities for students to do during school. In second block, students wrote about a time they’ve either bullied someone, or been bullied. They wrote it on an orange post-it which was collected and put up on a giant poster labeled “Stop Bullying #unity. The end of bullying begins with you.” During intervention, students wrote down incidents about when they’ve been bullied/ seen bullying. They had to write down what they want to see change about the situations, and how they could make that happen. After that, students wrote down something they promise to do to stop bullying.

“Today showed me that people actually care about bullying. It gives me hope that bullying will lessen, because there is bullying that goes on at Whitney and it needs to stop,” Morgan Young said.

by ABI BROOKS