Ending bullying should remain a focus in schools

From MothersFightingBack.org, used with permission.

From MothersFightingBack.org, used with permission.

James Jefferson, Reporter

High school hazing has become a major epidemic. Kids are not being disciplined as often as they should. A prime example of this happened with Sayreville High School’s football team in New Jersey in Oct. 2014. The head coach George Najjar was fired shortly after the scandal surfaced. According to NJ.com, on Oct 3 a parent of a freshman boy on the football team said that the upper classmen would “push around” the freshman in the locker room. Seven of the football players were involved in the hazing and sexually assaulting of four teammates in the locker room.

According to app.com, the coaches of the team were suspended without pay effective Oct 16. According to the school’s superintendent Richard Labbe, he says he is considering suspending the high school’s football team beyond the 2014 season. He also says he takes full responsibility for everything that happens at the school. And that includes the safety of the students and staff.

I think the main reason behind the hazing is because of young kids influencing each other to bully. I’ve been bullied and made fun of a few times while I was in school. As a society, we need to come together and realize what kind of impact bullying has on other people. And I think this issue is overlooked too often.

According to bullyingstatistics.org, one out of every four kids have been verbally attacked more than once. 35% of kids have been attacked online. And 77% of students have admitted to being a victim of bullying and hazing.

Palatine High School’s athletic director Jerry Dobbs said that before the sports season begins, each team has a preseason meeting to address important issues.

As for the consequences of bullying in each sport, Dobbs said that it’s very similar to the school matrix. If you are caught hazing, you could receive penalties such as suspension or expulsion from athletic and competitive activities. Anyone who is caught bullying will face consequences such as expulsion, as well as possible referral to the police consultant for possible criminal charges.  Also, he emphasized that Palatine High School’s climate is very positive and that nothing major has happened in terms of hazing.

I think the consequences of bullying need to continued to be strengthened. Also, people need to be more aware of this issue. Victims should not be silent. If they’re being bullied, they need to speak up. Bullying should not be an overlooked issue.