Sophomore offers suggestions for addressing bullying

Sophomore Addison Burleson said the effects of bullying can have on individuals can be profound, and it’s importance to address this issue in a school setting.

Burleson said, “Bullying’s effects can be really harsh. It can mess with your mind and self-esteem, big time.” 

She emphasized the importance of kindness and respect in schools. “We all need to be kind and respectful and not judge others who seem ‘weird’ or ‘different.’ Let’s make the school a safe place for all.”

For those who have been a victim of bullying Burleson said, “Counseling is important. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can make a big difference for people who are being bullied,” but she said first, victims have to have the strength to seek help. “Fewer kids are talking about bullying these days. It’s not because it’s gone, but maybe because they’re scared.”

In coping with bullying, Burleson said, “Sharing stories of those who have been bullied is powerful. It helps people see the real harm it causes.”

Burleson highlighted the mental toll of bullying. “The effects of bullying are mostly mental. It can wreck your mental health and self-esteem.” She also noted that the community can be affected with a stigma attached to the school when bullying is prevalent.

She emphasized the need for a safe space for reporting. “People should know they won’t be outed if they talk to a teacher. We need a place where they feel safe.” The high school has such a place linked on the home page of the Cedar Falls High School website anyone can report bullying anonymously. It’s linked under the students tab, and the Anonymous Alerts should be the first on the list. Clicking there leads to an anonymous survey.

Burleson said, “We need to make school a place where every kid feels safe and supported, no matter where they come from. It shouldn’t be scary.” She aimed for a school environment that fosters safety and support.

Burleson encouraged addressing problems, especially those related to bullying, through communication and understanding. “We should talk about issues, not just personal ones but things happening in our society and school. That’s how we can solve them.”

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