A small group of junior high and high school students asked to give their perspective on bullying reported that some students feel the threat of being ignored or exposed by faculty is equal to or worse than the threat of being bullied.

A small group of junior high and high school students asked to give their perspective on bullying reported that some students feel the threat of being ignored or exposed by faculty is equal to or worse than the threat of being bullied.


"Nobody tells because it doesn’t help anything," was the most frequent response.


According to Pia Woods, account extension agent for Jefferson County 4-H Youth Development, that opinion is shared by many students.


In January, 4-H began offering education on bullying to all school districts. Through her experience with the students, Woods said, "I heard the same thing wherever I went. The students, young and old, said if they tell nothing is done … so they don’t tell."


"After hearing it from so many, I began to believe it," Woods said. "It’s the little subtlety that’s feeding the monster."


Students said that in some cases, reporting the bullying resulted in making the victim more of a target. Others reported that although the problem of bullying exists, it only affects a small sector of students.


Pine Bluff:


One student at Jack Robey Junior High said that after he reported repeated harassment by a group of classmates to a teacher, a counselor and the principal, the issue was unresolved and eventually led to an attack.


"I feel like kids are trapped—left unprotected by school officials and forced to defend themselves," said the ninth-grade student.


"Most of what I see is verbal," said another Robey ninth grader. "There is one boy, he’s a special needs student. They call him names and tease him every day."


The student added, however, that he has never been a victim and feels protected at his school because, in his opinion, his principal doesn’t tolerate bullying.


White Hall:


A White hall ninth-grader said bullying is impossible to completely eliminate.


"I really don’t see a lot of it at my school, but I know it happens," he said.


The White Hall student said he is one of "the more popular kids who are less likely to be bullied."


Watson Chapel:


An junior at Watson Chapel High School said she witnesses bullying daily. She said she has thought about telling someone but thinks it will only make things worse for the person being bullied. Her example also involved a special needs student.


"There is a senior and his friends who bully another senior who is a special-needs student," she said. "I think he does it to impress his friends."


"They don’t care," a Watson Chapel ninth-grader said about teachers protecting students on campus.


"The teachers see a fight and they just take their time getting there to stop it," she said.


The student said she believes the campus needs more security. Students don’t feel comfortable reporting bullying because "they’re afraid of being called out," she said.


Dollarway:


A Dollarway student said she doesn’t see as much bulling at the high school as she did in junior high. She said she remembers one situation as the worst case of bullying she has seen — a seventh-grade girl teased because of a skin disorder.


"They would tease her until she cried," the student reported. "It got so bad, she left the school."


Although she knows of people who have been suspended for bullying, the junior said she doesn’t think suspension solved the problem. In some cases only made it worse


"Just more fights break out," she said.


Brenda Melton, assistant superintendent for the Watson Chapel School District, said students might see bullying as a more significant problem than administrators because—as echoed by the students—so much of it goes unreported, particularly in the middle to junior high-school years.


"There are a lot of growing pains, and they are at the age where they are less likely to tell someone," Melton said.


In fact, regardless of the reason, most of the local school officials contributing comments said that if the problem seems unchecked, it’s because it’s unreported.