Opinion: Manual is an exception to the increase in bullying amongst teens (reported by NY times and CNN)

Bullying has always been a main concern of parents, administration, and especially students in high school. Children are bigger, stronger and in most cases, more dangerous in high school. I had heard the rumors of students getting slammed and locked into lockers by upperclassmen, as well as being told the wrong way to get to a class. Talk about mortifying.

I remember how, in my freshman year, I spent an hour touring the school to make sure I knew how to get to all of my classes. That proved ineffective when I still could not find my way to Mrs. Tatro’s Algebra 1 class on the first day. I caved and asked a tall guy next to me for directions. I guess you could say I took a leap of faith that day. Luckily, I chose the right guy, because his directions led me straight to my class. I found out shortly after that my fellow classmates were having a hard time getting to class, but that with the help of other students, they also found their way. Where are all the bullying stories I had been warned about?

It wasn’t until the middle of my freshman year that I made a Facebook account and experienced my first taste of bullying. I had made a funny face for a photo and posted it online. Students that I barely knew at my school commented, “EW!” and other offending comments while anyone who was with me when that picture was taken knew that it was a joke. It hurt for a little bit, but I got over it and was a lot more cautious about what I posted online.

This was the only personal bullying incident that stands out to me when I think about my high school years. I thought that maybe I was just blessed to be surrounded by nice kids because I did not experience much bullying, but I found out that my fellow classmates were also not having the high school bullying experience that was so talked about before we came to high school.

Recently, I found an article on CNN.com that discussed the rise in bullying because of a student’s race. But I have found that people at Manual are not looked down upon because of their race, but instead admired for being different. I believe that my school is an exception to the increase in bullying. From what graduated and current students, administration, and I have witnessed, Manual seems to be a school with few and minor bullying situations. 

I talked to one of my friends, Benjamin Wade, about how lucky I feel to be at a school where bullying wasn’t much of a problem. He (a Manual student from the class of 2011) said that he thought his middle school years were only the beginning to his bullying experience; however, he found at Manual, that it would come to an end. “In middle school, I saw a lot of kids getting picked on for their race but in high school I only remember one fight, and it stopped as soon as it started,” Wade said. “I heard about fights all the time in other high schools—but not at Manual.”

Morgan Loy is a senior in CMA. She is the people's section editor for the yearbook and a staff writer for Manual Redeye. She hopes to use everything she has learned in communications and apply it to her future career.