Bullying affects students, staff, community

Imagine this: You’re walking down the hallway and you happen to catch someone’s eye because you’re too tall or too skinny or walk strangely. Just because of that they have to point it out and make you feel bad about yourself.
“Never let anyone define who you are; you define yourself,” drama teacher Chris Evans said.
Bullying has always been with us, and always will be. But people are willing to stand against it now more than ever.
Back when Evans was a student at CMR, bullying was purely physical, he said. If anyone said anything bad about you, “you sucked it up and moved on,” Evans said.
He said high school is like a crazy house; once you get out of it the world looks pretty good, whether that is good or bad. In fact, bullying has basically been going on since the days of the caveman.
“We are naturally designed to be the top dog. In order to be the top dog you have to take someone down,” Evans said.
In officer Nick Taylor’s experience, times have changed, and bullying “isn’t [just] a school thing.”
Electronic devices can now be used to send violent threats to persons and their property. Cyber-bullying is a broad term, and Montana doesn’t have laws against it, Taylor said, but specific smaller laws are in place.
Bullying in general affects school work and attendance big time, as well as creating social issues for the students to deal with. School is supposed to feel like a safe place for students, but bullying is hard to control.
A big problem with bullying is that sometimes students only have a victim complex. The term bullying gets misused most of the time and brought to his attention, though it’s just teen drama, Taylor said. As there is no textbook definition of bullying, most teenagers rely on previous times they have been bullied or seen bullying to determine they are being bullied. But given maturity levels, people tend to overreact to nothing, Taylor said.
Freshman Kaylani Hill knows exactly how it feels to be bullied.
“Bullying sucks and it should never be allowed,” she said. She has been bullied, called names, and threatened on Facebook with physical violence. She tried to stop it by asking for help, but it didn’t work. When she tried to fight back she got OSS for three days. Even now she said she still gets bullied but the people around her don’t help.
Bullying has changed over the years, but more people are willing to talk about it and stand up for themselves and others.