Cyber-bullying can be described as being tormented, threatened, harassed or embarrassed, using the Internet to do so in a public forum with the ability of reaching a large audience.

Bullying can be described as mentally tormenting, causing embarrassment or threatening physical harm in a public area using a smaller audience but with the same damaging effects.

In order to get to the bottom of bullying, regardless of which type, we have to put ourselves in the position of both the bully and victim.

Looking at the bully, the question we need to ask is what makes bullies act the way they do. Low self-esteem, a troubled home life, even envy, are all possible reasons bullies act the way they do. Regardless of the reason, there is no justification to cause harm to another person.

People are very quick to jump on the bully train, but less likely to stand up to the bully. I have to wonder why.

I don’t believe bullies have real friends, ones that truly like, respect and look up to them. The people they think are their friends are acting friendly because of fear — they don’t want to be the next target. They know first-hand what the bully is capable of.


A bully can be anyone — there is no specific profile, size, sex or race. When we think of the victim, most of the time we picture an awkward kid, maybe a quiet loner, someone that maybe is just a little different. That is not always the case.

Anyone can become the victim. With the click of a button, the world you know can disappear. The person you thought you were becomes someone that the world no longer sees as you, but what the bully has perceived you to be.

With both cyber-bullying and bullying, the victim needs to realize that it’s not anything they did wrong, that he is not weak. If the bully is jealous, it could be because the perceived victim has the home life, the boyfriend or girlfriend the bully longs for or, deep down, the bully simply wishes he were the other person.

What both the bully and the victim don’t realize is that the people around them see the true colors of each.

As a society, people need to understand that making laws to prevent bullying does not mean that the teenage population is going to adhere to those laws. Teenagers are not always thinking about the day after tomorrow, or the consequences of those actions. Teenagers are spontaneous.

In order to tackle the problem of cyber-bullying and bullying, standards need to be put in place to recognize the underlying issues. Bullies need to recognize they have a problem and be willing to change.


History will continuously repeat itself if bullies are allowed to continue to manipulate the system, flip-flopping the issues to make the victim look responsible. The victims need to know that someone is aware of the bullying and that they are not alone.

It is the responsibility of educators and administration officials of schools to stand up to bullying and take back control of their schools. Speaking from experience, teenagers like discipline, rules and guidelines — they prepare us for the world outside of school. Teenagers want to know that someone cares enough to show the strength to guide us in the right direction — teach us to make better choices.

As a teenager, I also believe that parents need to take a more active role in parenting. Making excuses for children is setting them up for failure in the future.

Children need to be taught, not only in schools but also at home, that treating people a certain way — because they don’t like things that are not in a person’s control (whether it be how they look, where they live or even who their family is) — should not be reasons to judge and torment.

In some instances, it is already too late for the victim and their families; the scars, like an obscene tattoo, are there for a lifetime.

Students who are neither the bully nor the victim also suffer because bullying takes away from everyone’s education.

Life is like a big-screen movie — some have the staring roles, others are supporting actors and some are extras. Regardless, the bullies, victims and bystanders all strive for acceptance, love and friendship — which we all deserve.

We cannot ignore this growing epidemic or pretend it doesn’t exist. I hope that, someday, children, teenagers, parents and educators can come together to find a system that is beneficial to all.

Sabrina Lyon is a senior at Poland Regional High School. She lives in Poland.

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