picture that flashes across most people's minds on hearing the word
'bully' is that of a big, fat, smirking guy with muscular arms, huge
hands and unbelievable strength. Of course, it does not necessarily
have to be that way. In fact, I know about some who happen to be the
shortest and thinnest in class, with a moustache that has not yet
What is it that
makes bullies bully? As most bullies would say, 'It is fun!' For the
bullies at school and their friends, it is the only form of entertainment
after the long, tiresome day. 'After all, we do need to do something
other than studies,' one such commented. He had once taken the bag
of an innocent victim and kept it on the sunshade outside the window.
After searching for it for ages and without being able to tell the
teachers 'I have lost my bag,' the poor boy was unable to take any
form of notes for the rest of the day. He did not want to think about
what might happen when he went back home without his heavy bag slung
over his shoulders. The others had a great time seeing his confusion
and replying 'I have no clue!' every time he asked. Near the end of
the day, the bully himself leaned against the window and exclaimed,
'Oh look what I've found! Finders keepers.' Although he did return
the bag and the victim realised that it was 'finders hiders' rather,
he could not do anything about it but seethe in rage. Some bullies
like to pester their juniors, some prefer smaller kids from the same
class, while others give the new students a hard time. 'Changing schools
is hard enough… they make it harder still,' is a common complaint
petty crimes like stealing stationery or lunch, hiding bags and blowing
in the ear, some go to such extents that it gets simply unbearable
for the victim. Some start fights with the small, pale kids for no
reason at all. It is just that they know that they will win no matter
what. I have heard of seniors who simply shove their juniors violently
every time they pass each other on the stairs or raise them by the
collars to threaten them. When asked about what fun they derive from
bullying, most say 'It is just so much fun to see their frightened
expressions, trying to free themselves from our grip. Some keep saying
sorry even though there weren't any "crimes" committed.
They seem to believe everything we say! If we go ask one, "Why
did you slap my friend?" even if he hasn't, there are no protests!
Most plead guilty and ask for forgiveness! It makes you feel so powerful,
not to mention important! Also, it's fun for everyone around you.
And the best part is when you relate the story to the ones who weren't
present to witness it. They make you feel like you are "The Boss!"
It's worth it to spice up, like, a hundred lives in exchange for the
misery created in just one, isn't it?' Well, that is just the bullies'
point of view!
other bully was once proudly describing something that he had done.
He was walking with a group of friends when a thin and pale kid was
walking past. One of his friends dared him to scare the living daylights
out of that child. Putting down a dare wasn't 'his sort of a thing.'
So he pushed the child to a wall, raised him by the collar and asked
him never again to walk in front of them with that air of confidence.
The frightened kid ran away as soon he was let go, not daring to look
back. This particular bully thinks that bullying is a means of popularity
and 'coolth,' which is what he lives for. He would probably have done
better had he thought of himself in the victim's shoes. Let's just
hope he does so soon!
A Serious Problem in Schools
Ayesha Sanchita Mahmud
you ever had someone throw mud at your face or trip you repeatedly?
Have you ever had someone burn the tips of your hair with a lighter
and then laugh at you when you screamed? Well, I have. I know that
I am different from the other kids at school. I know that it takes
me a while to learn new things and I am not the brightest student
in the class. I know that my hair is always a tangled mess and I know
that I stutter when I speak. But isn't everything God created perfect?
Then, am I not perfect? Who are they to call me names; who are they
to judge me…
Bullying has become
a common phenomenon in most schools in Dhaka. Very often it is overlooked
by teachers and also parents. Childhood is the time for playing pranks
on your friends and having a good laugh about it later. Harmless teasing
and small pranks are not serious problems. Sometimes, they bring some
colour and laughter to an otherwise dull classroom. However, when
one person is singled out for all the pranks and hurtful comments,
it becomes objectionable.
As much as we
would like to think otherwise, bullying happens all around us. Dishonest
policemen bullying the street vendor, teenagers bullying small children
to do errands for them, car drivers bullying rickshaw-pullers. However,
what is most painful to see is children bullying other children. Bullying
can take up many different forms. In most cases it is just verbal,
including repeated name-calling, insults and rude comments. Children
can sometimes sense another child's weakness and they can exploit
that weakness. Sometimes children gang up on a classmate in large
groups and pester him/her constantly. For a young child the experience
can be traumatising, often leaving him too scared to attend school.
Many students do badly in their studies and lose their confidence.
Teachers and parents often do not regard bullying to be a serious
issue and consider it an inevitable part of childhood. Yes, children
will tease each other and have fights but when things get out of hand
it is important for someone to step in. It does not have to be the
school authority or the guardians. Even classmates can put a stop
to bullying by befriending the victim and turning the table on the
are cowards"-the saying has become such a cliché. It does
not matter to a child whether his six-foot tall bully is a coward
or not. What matters to the child is that he knows he is loved and
that he is special. Confidence and self-belief are very important.
When I asked a friend of mine what he felt like when he was bullied
in school, he replied nonchalantly, "Their words never hurt me.
I didn't have a very high opinion of them, so it didn't matter what
they thought of me. I only cared about what the people I liked thought
of me." Standing up to your bully, however, may not always be
a good idea. When things get out of hand, it is time to seek help
from an adult.
is a serious problem in schools and playgrounds and it must not be
taken lightly. We are all content to live in our own ignorant world
but life is not a fairytale. Children must be taught from a very early
age to consider others' feelings and to treat others with respect.
It may be cute to watch a four-year-old steal a chocolate from his
unsuspecting younger brother, but even that is bullying, to a certain
extent. So the next time you see someone being bullied make yourself
heard. How would you feel if you were the one being bullied by your
classmates? Defending yourself is important, but standing up for others
is what real courage is all about.