On Saturday, January 29, 2011 I had the privilege of going back to my middle school to watch their annual dance concert. There were so many amazing pieces but only two of them I thought had an amazing and powerful message, I'll cover the second one in a separate blog.
The first dance that caught my eye was titled Gossip and was choreographed by Mr. Carlos DeBarros. The reason that I felt this message was so important was because it shows how bullying can affect children inside of a school. Growing up I was always that kid who was picked on, especially while I was at the Middle School of the Arts, now known as Bak Middle School of the Arts. I was that little quite girl in the back who minded her own business and loved to dance and that left me open to mean and cruel nicknames, which still haunts me to this day. That nickname carried on into my four years of high school and even after by kids who were younger than me. Two out of the three boys who started that horrible name for me have apologized now that we have entered college, and that nick name has seemed to shed for some, but others it will never go away.
A school bully is, "refusal (not inability) to think rationally about themsevles and others, small scale terrorist, with behavior mostly taking place during school time; justifies terrorist activites towards his/her targets or victims with self psychological excuses ('I want to appear tough and in control'); enjoys enforcing power on others and causing extreme fear; over-bearing person who tyrannizes the non-violent and physcially less strong; to rule by intimidation, terror; threatens or acts of violence on others; calls an assault a 'fight', 'disagreement' or 'justice." This definition came from Jaredstory.com
I know people don't seem to realize the effect that bullying has on a young child, but recently it has left the school yard and has started to become popular on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
In Suffolk County, N.Y. police are investigating a suicide of a seventeen year old girl. Her suicide was due to vicious Facebook message posted before and after her death. The horrible messages didn't just stop on her page, there was a tribute page for her and the harassment continued there.
Mr. DeBarros wrote in the program, "With all the recent media attention on bullying I wanted to do a dance about it." To me this was just an amazing idea because for the popular kids, who have never been picked on, it gives them an insight into what bullying does to a person.
This dance starts off with some "popular" girls walking and pretending to text each other, and then one other girl runs in and shows them a text then they start laughing. Then another group of girls come in with a note, start reading it then throw it on the floor, she picks it up reads it and starts crying. Then all the girls, including the unpopular one start dancing. Towards the end of this piece girls start passing a note, it gets to the "unpopular" girl, then a burn book comes out. In the end she's on the floor crying, and a popular girl comes up and pushes the other girls away and comforts her.
If you or a friend is a victim of either school bullying or cyber bullying please don't let it go unnoticed. Reach out and get help. Talk to your parents, school counselor or friend, or you can call your local police department and report it. Do something about it before it's to late.