Opinion Piece

•May 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Bullying: A serious problem with serious consequences.
By Estefania Marquez

Recent bullying statistics admit that half of all bullying incidents go unreported. It is incredible how people, when bullied, are so scared to trust someone else, they keep putting up with the bullying. To live a life of hate and resentment is that the life we want our children to endure? Nobody should want that for future generations. This issue has been a huge problem throughout the years. Bullies have a problem of self-confidence, and therefore they treat others inferiorly. They oppress others in order for them to feel better.

Bullying is known for affecting psychologically and physically, in worst-case scenarios this problem has lead children and teenagers to commit suicide. “It is estimated that 160, 000 children miss school every day due to the fear of attack or intimidation by other students”. Bullying should not be an issue in our community. Children should not be afraid of going to school. On the contrary, they should look forward for their education, enjoying each day of their childhood, each day of their lives, not fearing who will harass them. They should be enjoying their days with other kids as well.

Parents are one of the biggest influences that children have, with their help and guidance, children learn to live and understand life in general. Parents and teachers should be aware of bullying, and if they are, they should do everything in their power to stop it. Parents should let their kids know that they are a reliable source for the children to feel secure. When the children have a strong bond with their parents, they can immediately run to them and confide them their problems. Parents are family, and people should always confide in their family, everyone should have their family as support. “It is surprisingly common [bullying], there is evidence that over half of children have been victimized and over half have been bullies”. How is it that people live a life full of negative aspects, that their children see all that hate at home that they end up hating others outside their homes. If parents were more involved with their children’s life and created a healthier environment, bullying may not even exist.

Bullying is happening all around us, everyone should be aware of the big problem it has become and everyone should be acting against it. It is devastating to see children isolated from society because others treat them badly. If people ever see this harassment happening, people should Speak Up! To be bully-free should be a right. No one has the power to undermine anyone. Bullies are out there threatening lives, and ruining them. Everyone should be acting up against it; not letting anyone undermine them and making them feel less.

References

Borba, Michele (1999). Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://www.parentingbookmark.com/pages/articleMB04.htm

Farrington, David P. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Bullying, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://0-www.jstor.org.lib.utep.edu/stable/pdfplus/1147555.pdf

Literary Review

•May 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Bullying: A Review of the Literature

Abstract

Worldwide, Bullying has been a big issue, affecting many people psychologically and physically.  This issue has been a huge problem in schools, Michele Borba, author of “Parents Do Make A Difference” wrote that “It is estimated that 160, 000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students”. Source: National Education Association. Parents are concerned with this issue, and they’ve been trying to make a stop to bullying. To stop this harassment and empower all their kids and make them immune to all the hating they receive, and to stop kids from harassing others. This literary review examines the impact of what bullying brings to our community especially our children and what can parents do to stop this from happening.

Bullying: A Review of the Literature

Children all around the world are bullied in school, playground, work environments and even now a day over the net. The exact definition of bullying is a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. It is believed that people bully others because of their own self-esteem issues, and that those who grow to be bullies are or were bullied at home as children, and their children are most likely to be bullied on the future. Concerned parents around the world have been trying to make a stop to this problem, empowering their children against bullies and teaching their children to be mature and respectful. Bullying needs to come to a stop and parents and other peers have come with three different questions over bullying:

  1. What empowers people to feel better than someone else, and on top of that make others feel less?
  2. What are the effects of bullying?
  3. How can parents prevent bullying?

The review on the literature about bullying will focus on these three questions.

What empowers people to feel better than someone else, and on top of that make others feel less?

David P. Farrington (1993) wrote, “Bullying is repeated oppression, psychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful one” (pp. 381-458). Bullying has become a huge matter in our society. How is it that our children think that they can just go and treat someone else with disrespect so they can feel “good” about themselves? How can those children live after they see how one of their victims ends up committing suicide?  Xin Ma (2001), author of Bullying and Being Bullied: To what Extent Are Bullies Also Victims? (Pp. 351-370), says that “The coercive behaviors associated with bullying can be classified into two categories: physical and verbal”. Why does someone have the need to hit, push, treat or humiliate another human being? The reason that someone bullies can be many; they might be suffering from harassment at home or by someone else, so they reciprocate to someone else. The bully might bully because they think that they are somehow superior to others. Some bully, because they want attention or because they want something they cannot accomplish. Some bully to prove something, thinking they might be more popular. Bullies bully due to their mental state. They either have problems with their self-esteem, they never learned how to respect others, or they have some sort of insecurities.

The problem is that sometimes parents, peers, and teachers underestimate the situation, and they think that verbal bullying as a harmless act, and sometimes they don’t even realize their children’s involvement in bullying. This is why bullies sometimes see it also as harmless and irrelevant, because nobody stops them and tell them that it is wrong. Because nobody puts a stop to him or her, they come to a point where it is so common for him or her, but they never realize it is not normal.

What are the effects of bullying?

To live a life of hate and resentment is that the life we want our children to endure? This problem makes the lives of its victims miserable. It undermines their confidence and destroys their self-esteem. Bullying has grown into a problem that children are committing suicide; bullying is so damaging to someone’s life they become depressed. Depression is a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal, a great sadness that can last for years if not treated, and can eventually lead to suicide; you don’t need to be harmed physically to be scarred by bullying, every mean word bullies tend to say is enough to affect someone in a very deep and emotional level.

Bullying causes emotional stability, just eleven years ago in April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, two students in their last year, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and one teacher; this is what bullying leads to; hate and resentment. Maltreatment also causes other problems that are also important like poor academic performance and school failure, delinquency, and poor peer relationships. Depression caused by bullying tends to isolate the victims leading them to these terrible consequences.

How can parents prevent bullying?

Parents are the biggest influence children have, with their help children learn to live and understand life in general. If parents do not teach their children how to be respectful and just show them the opposite, they will reflect it towards someone else. If you see a person who does not bully someone, or a person who does not accept seeing someone is bullied, they are most likely to have parents that have taught them well. Parents have to be more involved in their children’s life.

Farrington (1993), states, “It is surprisingly common [bullying], there is evidence that over half of children have been victimized and over half have been bullies” (pp. 381-458). Parents can do a difference by being more involved and by creating a healthy and loving environment for their children. Parents should let their children know that they have someone that they can trust, to be that support that children need.

Conclusion

Bullying has become an issue that many people are not aware of, or they just decide to ignore. Bullying IS happening and we need everyone to be aware of it, and to act against it; to be bully-free should be a right. No one has the power to undermine you; this should be something that everyone should know. Bullies are out there threatening lives, and ruining them. The effects of bullying are devastating, and they ought to come to a stop.  Parents are the main people that can help prevent this kind of negative situations. Bullying is a big issue affecting our community, and further research will help answer all questions.

References

Borba, Michele (1999). Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://www.parentingbookmark.com/pages/articleMB04.htm

Farrington, David P. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Bullying, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://0-www.jstor.org.lib.utep.edu/stable/pdfplus/1147555.pdf

Ma, Xin (2001). Bullying and Being Bullied: To What Extent Are Bullies Also Victims?, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://0-www.jstor.org.lib.utep.edu/stable/pdfplus/3202462.pdf

Nesbit, John C. and Adesope, Olusola O. (2006). Learning with Concept and Knowledge Maps: A Meta-Analysis, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/4124424.pdf

Genre Analysis

•May 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Bullying: Genre Analysis of a Website and You-Tube video

Bullying is a very serious problem in our society. This issue has affected many kids and teenagers all around the world. This problem has spread in every school in the United States. Bullying has become a public health problem that is affecting people all around the world that needs everyone’s attention and concern. When teenagers feel bad about themselves, they somehow think that by making someone else feel worse they will feel better, that they low-esteem will rise. In other cases, you have the ones that think they are better than everyone else, and they want everyone to know it by being mean to someone else. All this has lead teenagers who bully during their adolescent years to most likely have a very negative future, full of aggression and hate. Teenagers, who are bullied, are most likely to suffer from depression and low self-confidence. Sometimes, the bullied tired of being the one suffering, will end up harassing someone else; or in extreme cases the bullied may be lead into suicide.  Many bullies are influenced by different types of genres that show them how bullying is normal. Two genres that deal with the bullying issue are pacerteensagainstbullying.org, which is a website, and a you-tube video of an ad against bullying called Words Hurt by an association called Concerned Children’s Advertisers. It is trough the method of genre analysis when an individual can see the impact each genre has on the viewer, depending on how the topic is offered.

Purpose and Audience

The whole purpose of the pacerteensagainstbullying.org website is to inform the reader about what bullying is, who the bullies and the bullied are, how to help and prevent this issue, giving different ideas to the public of how to make a difference and act against bullying; being the bully, the bullied or the bystander. The website gives to the viewer many examples describing in a simple but effective way what this problem is, and what it can cause to a person. They give the viewer some real stories, about real people telling their experience through bullying. The website provides the viewer with different ways to take a stand and act against bullying. In contrast, the you-tube ad Words Hurt by Concerned Children’s Advertisers is very short but with a message so strong, that you do not need anything else to understand the message they are giving against bullying. The ad gives the viewers a sense of what oral bullying is, and what it can make to a person, and how terribly it can affect their lives.

The audiences for both genres are mainly teenagers, but it can also include adults. For the pacerteensagainstbullying.org is more intended for adolescents and their families to look at the website and find help regarding bullying. Therefore teenagers can have information that can help them get through the harassment of others, such as how to prevent it by giving ideas of how you can help educate your children and making them know that name calling, or punching someone is not good. Also it gives tips on how to help if you are a bystander that is afraid to intervene, or just to get information that will help reduce little by little the harassment some kids are experiencing. This website contains information that can change someone else’s life.

With the you-tube Words Hurt ad the audience is for everyone. Because everyone is somehow linked to bullying; you are the one harassing another person, the person who is being harassed or the bystander who does not know what to do, either take a stand and help out, or just ignore the situation. The ad shows some girls being mean and saying hurtful things to another girl, which in the ad you can clearly see how hurt she is just by hearing them call her names. This video shows what could happen you, to your children or to someone you care about. The whole purpose of this video is to be viewed by everyone, so everyone can make a positive change about this dilemma. Similar to the website, the audience for this you-tube video would not only have background information about the topic but would also have to know how to use a computer. For both genres, the viewer would need to use technology in order to utilize you-tube and the website. The audience can react to the topic of bullying can vary with age. If the viewer were a bullied teenager their reactions would most likely be different from an adult who is trying to make a change in their children’s lives. On the whole, bullying has become a public health problem that the whole community needs to work with; in a way that bullying will not be an issue anymore.

Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

The information given in pacerteensagainstbullying.org was to inform the public about bullying, to make the viewers aware of what this harassment can lead to, and to give the viewers enough information to help out and prevent bullying. The information they gave in the website is separated in five main sections that provides information on how to identify bullying, a section that gives you tips on what you can do to put an end to bullying, a section where the viewer can make a difference by not looking away, where you can join the movement against bullying, a section where they give you resources where you can find different links regarding the issue, and a testimony of a celebrity that will have an impact in many lives. This type of list of options establishes credibility to the webpage, making the webpage trustworthy to the viewer. The way the webpage gives the idea that it is professional and credible, and that it can contain valuable information for the reader. The url address (pacerteensagainstbullying.org) clearly states that this is a website that deals with bullying, and gives security that it will help the reader take action against bullying.

The website contains various small testimonials of teens that have been harassed and a testimonial of a teen celebrity, Demi Lovato, who was bullied in middle school. This gives the reader security that they are not alone, and that bullying can be stopped. The website also includes different links to different WebPages related to bullying, that will also help out the viewer, in those links you can also find more testimonials that once again proves that this issue is a real problem, but a problem that can be prevented. The website shows ethos with examples and testimonials that bullying can be prevented, and how everyone can do something to make a change, and make everyone’s lives bully-free.

In contrast, the you-tube ad Words Hurts makes a bigger impact on teenagers. The ad shows a group of three girls that appear to be in middle school who are in the hallway of their school when they start name-calling and laughing to a girl who is walking alone. The words they call her appear to be literally slapping, pulling the girl’s hair. This girl suffers with pain that looks physical with every word being called at her, and how each laugh its like a slap to the face. This video is not for entertainment, it is a video made to inform the society about the situation various teenagers are suffering. The video states a reality; therefore the ad brings logos. The video makes the audience have different emotions. It depends on who is watching the video. If it is a teenager who suffers of aggravation, she or he will feel identified with the character. If it is a parent who sees the video, anger will most likely come up. Anger that those situations are in fact a sad reality.

Structure

The positive aspect about pacerteensagainstbullying.org being a website, you see that the creators have the liberty to write as much as they want. Giving them the opportunity to give the viewers as much information as the please, giving the chance to provide the reader with the information that they might need. This website’s layout is very well organized that makes the public read all the information in an easy way. Being a website they are able to provide more links to give out infinite information. They can persuade the reader with different angles, covering ethos, logos or pathos because they have the liberty to add as much information as they please,

The you-tube video may be less explicit on information, but it gets to the point, but it does not make the video less valuable. The video is structured to tell a story that is a reality to many teenagers. The idea of doing an ad, to publish in television and the Internet, must have been by someone who knew there would be more audience to see it. The video is very short, seconds short, but it does not take less information as if it had been a ten-minute video.

Style and Language

All of the information given in pacerteensagainstbullying.org website was in a non-formal way, because it is written in a way that everyone can understand. The whole website is designed so a younger crowd can feel identified, but it also lets an older crowd to get information from it. The style of the website is done in a very edgy design, that has black, red and white colors, with a very cool font making it appropriate for teenagers, but having this type of style it does not take away credibility. The website carries a video of Demi Lovato, talking about what happened to her, and how it affected her, and how she has been able to move on in a positive way. This video has credibility, because you see the actual person talking about her story, and it makes the viewer feel at ease.

In the you-tube ad, Concerned Children’s Advertisers tell a story, about a girl whom three other girls are bullying. The girl is walking in a corridor, and the three girls are just standing there in the hallway, making fun of her. This video is very effective, because with this video you get a sense of how all the people who are bullied feel. You see it in the girl’s face as she falls down crying or trying to block away the negative comments the girls tell her. It is structured so the audience will feel the need to so something, and the simple language it gives it is very easy for every kind of audience to understand.

Conclusion

The way both genres together reveal bullying as a negative society issue, and how the people are the ones who can make a change and stop this serious problem our community is going through. On the other hand because pacerteensagainstbullying.org is a website it has the advantage that they can add as much information they want the audience to view. They use more examples that can make the information very valuable. In contrast with the you-tube video you can see less information about bullying, because it only tells the story about oral bullying, they do not include physical or cyber bullying. The video is in disadvantage because even though it only shows how words can hurt, gives you a whole idea of what all other kind of bullying is able to do. The video was a bit limited because it did not show the other kinds of bullying. This is why a genre analysis is very important because it allows the audience to view and understand the notion in a more serious way, and to realize that some information relies on different perspectives. In this case, both of the genres hold a credibility that influences all of the people to make a change and take action against bullying.

Reference:

Concerned Children’s Advertisers. Words Hurt- Bullying Commercial. (2008). Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j6YA03hm4k

Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying. (2009). Home Page. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/

Documentary

•May 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The following video is a Documentary of the effect of Bullying and about how people should react to such harassment.

Bullying: How to encourage your children to Speak Up from Estefania Marquez on Vimeo.

You can see this video on youtube or follow the link to see it on vimeo.

Bullying

•May 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

According to dictionary.com bullying is:

1. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person whohabitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

2. to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.

Bullying should not even be a word that exists on a dictionary.

About the Author

•May 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My name is Estefania Marquez and I am 19 years old.

I am a freshman majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Communications at UTEP. I enjoy going to school, even thought half of my classes are “artsy” like Drawing and Design, I enjoy and learn from all of them. I really enjoy english and literature. I find it extremely relaxing to just open a book and read different interesting stories and poetry.

I started my high school years in Franklin High School, where i completed freshmen and sophomore year, then I left to study abroad in France for a year. When i came back, i finished my high school education at Franklin Class of 2009.

Living abroad is one of the most wonderful experiences I have lived. Having the chance to travel at such young age made me acknowledge what is out there besides El Paso and Juarez. Ever since my experience in France I see the world in a different way.

Coming from a Mexican family and being born in El Paso, I speak and write spanish and english fluently. And since I lived in France I also speak French. Getting to know other cultures fascinates me. Seeing how other people live and trying to understand their beliefs is something that I have always been interested in.

During my spare time, I like to do community service in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. Most of the summers I help Rotary in their constructions of new homes for those in need. During the rest of the year I tend to help around in other community service projects that Rotary does.

 
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