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

Morgan Loy

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.”