The bullying issue is so bad, it explodes to front page news every single day. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics 2013, nearly 1 in 3 students reported being bullied in some way or another.
Unfortunately, the bullies in school today do not cease to exist when leaving school but become the bullies at work and on the highway tomorrow. It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 elementary-school bullies will have a criminal record by the time they are 30.
Most people are aware of the critical problem existing in bullying, both emotionally and physically, but many people when seeing an article or watching a film regarding bullying will think “oh that’s not relevant to me” or “that’s them, I’m not like that, I’m against those brutal acts”. But is it really not relevant to you?
When you see someone you know being bullied, even by the simplest acts such as name-calling or teasing, would you interfere? Would you go and stand up for the victim?
Now let’s say you don’t know this person… would you still interfere?
By being aware of these situations and not interfering or speaking up, you may as well be encouraging bullies to continue bullying.
Many times when people say “bully” they think of big, mean people who go around calling others names and beating them up, but that’s just part of the definition. There is a whole other side to bullying with a more damaging effect on the victim. It’s called cyber bullying. Through access to the internet and social media websites vulnerable kids can be bullied and tormented around the clock, even in the supposed safety of their own homes. The cruelty that can come with the strike of a button on a keyboard can hurt just as much as any punch or push in a playground. Cyber bullying is one of the more common ways of bullying because it’s so easy — it doesn’t seem real to the bully and it is easier to get away with. Sometimes the bully does not know the victim because online you can talk to anybody without even knowing who they are.
We go around blaming “society” (the educational structure, parenting methods, etc.) for this, yet WE are society. We have the power to make a change.
As many bullies as there are, there are many more people witnessing bullying and walking away. It does not matter if you know the person or not.
Take a stand against bullying! Standing up to someone who’s hurting someone else may affect you for a few minutes, however it will have a positive impact on the victim for their entire life – knowing that someone cares, that they’re not alone.
My name is Yehuda Gelb and I started YG productions because I love to play with the elements of visuals, dialogue and music that go into making a great film.
I just recently produced with many very talented people a short film which shows the extreme damage bullying and labeling causes and how it can all be prevented. The goal of this film is to connect with everyone – encourage bullies to stop their damaging behavior, encourage bystanders to stand up and reach out to the victims and encourage all people to be more aware of the situation.
I’ve collaborated with Naomi Steinberg, who brought many ideas to the video and her personal experience of being bullied
Naomi tells her story:
“Throughout my life I’ve been bullied. When I first moved to Israel (summer before first grade) I did not know much Hebrew and I was made fun of throughout the entire year due to my lack of Hebrew.
Most of 5th grade I was bullied both physically and emotionally on the bus home by a guy in my school in 8th grade. I remember telling my parents once and they talked to his parents but that just made it worse so I learnt that it’s better to not say anything. Most days that year I would hide in school until the bus left and then hitch hike home or call my parents and tell them I missed the bus, again, and I’m sorry.
In 8th grade this guy I knew sent me messages on the internet often telling me I’m stupid and suck and no one likes me. It was worse than being bullied in person because when it happened in person, home was a safe zone. Once I started receiving messages on social media no place was safe anymore – I could be bullied even while sitting in my own home, the messages were always there, and the voice that read them was my own.
Starting 9th grade the bulling got worse and it became more consistent. Just that this time, the bulling was not by an external factor, but by me. I started to hate myself and believe that the bullies, they weren’t the problem, I’m the problem. It got to a point that I would feel embarrassed to walk outside because I thought so badly of myself. I felt I was a burden on society. Thankfully, through much love and support from those around me, I today do not struggle as deeply with low self-esteem. I’ve learnt tools to put it up and am constantly working on it while I also have learnt to stand up for myself.
Being bullied effects the victim for the rest of their life – they can forgive, get help, and move on, but never forget.
Throughout the years not one person stood up for me. Everyone was too scared or embarrassed. Standing up to someone who’s hurting someone else may affect you for a few minutes but it will affect the victim for their entire life. Knowing that someone cares. That they’re not alone.
I’ve made this video with Yehuda Gelb to bring up awareness to the damage bulling and labeling causes when committed, if it’s by others or by yourself, because I can’t go back in time and change what I’ve went through. But I can use the present and the future to change what others go through, and so can you.
We all say we are against bulling , but what truly shows our beliefs are our actions, for they speak louder than our words.
We are all different and want to feel unique, so why judge and label ? Accept others. Accept that they are different than you. That is the way to bring peace and make this world a better place- acceptance and standing up for those who are being hurt and wronged!
So next time you happen to think or say “I wish there were peace” or “I’m against bulling” ask yourself, “What do I do to prove my words?”
What will you do next time you witness someone being bullied or labeled?”
Click on the following link to watch the video:
If you saw this video, please send/share/tweet…
We want to spread the word of bullying and with your help, it’s possible!!