Bullying among all ages

College students tend to forget that bullying affects everyone, not just children who take their lives because they are being called names or coming home from school every day with a different bruise.  Lhe Ladies of Green and Gold hosted a forum titled “Facing the Facts: The Next Generation,” which covered bullying of all ages, violence and lack of motivation in order to educate students on the threat of violence and bullying on campus.
The forum was also a panel discussion including five members, four of whom were NAACP members. The fifth member was Southeastern graduate Michael Kyles, who currently teaches Civics at Hammond Junior High Magnet School. The guest speaker, Minister Rodrick Cooper of Stillwater Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, gave an uplifting speech about standing up for the bullied children of the world.
“Be a doer,” Cooper said. “Make it each and every one of your personal duty to make a stand. Not to just say the right thing, but to do the right thing. Everyone has a place that they can go and give back to. Every year, 3.2 million children are bullied. You may say, ‘Well, what can one person do?’ Well, Martin Luther King was one person. It’s all of our duty and responsibility to stand up and make a change.”
Joshua Allen, Alpha Phi Alpha member, performed a monologue about his experience with bullying and beatings in grade and middle school. Allen touched on not speaking up to his parents because the verbal abuse from them was worse than what he was enduring at school.
According to Kyles, one of the underlying factors as to why someone bullies another person is their own personal issues.
“A lot of the times, people bully others because they have a lot of insecurities about themselves,” Kyles said. “They find someone else to pick on to help fill that void. They may have their own personal issues amongst themselves that they don’t want to deal with.”
Some of the other questions proposed to the panel and audience were about parents raising their children to fight back if they are bullied, to which Kyles said he encourages his students to “respect everyone’s opinions.”
Senior vocal performance major Jeremy Lloyd was also part of the panel, and he claims students who do not fight back may go home to worse bullying.
“I’ve seen instances where students got in trouble for not fighting back by their parents,” Lloyd said. “They were taught that, if someone hits you, you hit them back. I think it starts at home. You should always teach your child to respond in a positive way to a negative action.”
The discussion finally moved to bullying on Southeastern’s campus, and many students in the audience have seen it every day on campus and in the classrooms, not just on social media.
Sierra Matthews said, “We all know we have someone at Southeastern that dresses differently. I’ve heard her called ‘Little Bo Peep’ before. That’s bullying. Once I saw her crying in class, and someone was trying to take her picture. Should I have said something? Yes. Am I wrong not to have? Yes. Now, did she stop dressing like that? No. But was it right for them to treat her that way? No. That’s just how she wants to dress. Just imagine if it was you being treated that way.”
It is apparent that bullying is alive and well in young adults and college students, and the Ladies of Green and Gold took action to educate students on these issues throughout the forum.