Bullying comes in many different shapes and forms. It doesn’t have to be the stereotypical, movie-type where the bully pins the victim to their locker, causing them to drop their schoolwork on the floor while the whole school watches. A study in Britain showed that at least 50% of suicides among high school students are related to bullying. According to ABC News, almost 30% of students are either bullies or the victim of bullying, and those 160,000 students stay home from school fearing bullying. Luckily for our school, we have an anti-bullying campaign that makes sure that bullying decreases in the school. I interviewed Caroline Beshay, the head of the anti bullying campaign.
My first question was why she decided to start the club. “Well, it all started out when I was president last year in General Assembly and some of my delegates were joking around and they were joking around with one student in specific. At first, that student was laughing too so I assumed it was all alright but then that student just walked right out of the forum and they were crying. I realized they were throwing pens and water at that student and that the student was trying to hide it by smiling. At that moment I remembered all the times I had been bullied when I was a kid and I hated it. I had become a part of the problem, so I knew I had to do something about it. I actually talked to my older brother and we came up with the idea together.”
The next question was asking about what she wanted to accomplish because of the campaign. “All I want to do is help people. Even though the person who is being bullied is the victim, the bully is usually facing something that is causing them to do whatever it is that they’re doing. When I was being bullied, my father would always tell me to forgive my bullies and he would buy me candy to give to them and I would do that because I didn’t know what else to do. They would like me for an hour and they would go back to bullying me again, but I never hated them, I just wanted a friend. So I guess all I want to accomplish is forgiveness because everyone deserves a second chance and I would want people to know that it is okay to be wrong as long as you’re trying to be a better person. Life is never easy but if you work hard on being a good person everyday, you will find out that you’ll be happier. I just want to make sure less people are getting hurt. Instead of spreading pain, I would like to spread support to everybody. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it at the end.”
My last question was about the difference that the campaign has made so far. “Well, we haven’t really started taking any action because the club just started. But I’d like to think that it’s effective, even if it’s not on the larger scale, it will be on soon. The letters that have been submitted by teachers have been very helpful. I have gotten several people talking to me personally about their experiences with bullying. Some are planning on sharing it soon with everybody while others just want to talk to someone. Whatever they’re comfortable on doing, I’m glad they feel comfortable and confident enough to speak about their past experiences with bullying even if it’s just to me. I am so proud of them, even if everything I do helps just one person, honestly that’s enough for me.”
By: Mariam Omar