We need to teach youth not to bully

Katelyn Eddington, Columnist

The other night, my favorite 13-year-old ever called me and said, “Kaka, all my so-called friends are talking bad about me behind my back.” 

Of course, me being her older sister, I wanted to handle this on my own; however, knowing that her friends have done this off and on since they started junior high, I said “Well, baby girl, get a new friend group.”

To my expectation, she said it’s hard because there is nobody else. 

Why is there nobody else? Well, because she goes to a very, very small-town school district. 

Also, in a small town you see your bullies everywhere: in school, grocery stores, church and the gas station. 

Do not get me wrong, I have had my fair share of bullies, we all have, but being 13 is a different kind of bullying. 

Girls are so incredibly mean at the age of pre-teen throughout the early teenager years.

I do not know why, and I am a girl. 

Maybe it is the hormones or their emotions they cannot handle, I don’t know. 

So, I told her that at her age, I was bullied until high school. 

Which helped some, but not by much. 

Bullying in general is not OK. 

Parents in small towns, rather everywhere, need to teach their children that words hurt. 

That small-town saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” 

It is a lie. 

Words do hurt, and they linger. 

I still have nightmares that I wake up and I am 13 again. 

I told Adriene that if it continues, do what you have to do. 

Do I condone hitting or fighting in school? No.

But if it gets them to shut up and back off, go for it. 

Now I realize telling my 13-year-old sister this is not the best way to handle this situation, but if no adults in the school system are going to handle it the so-called “proper way,” go for it. 

My dad told her the same thing. 

Listening to Adriene go through situations I went through doesn’t help matters either. 

The sad thing is these children have no idea how bad they are hurting someone. 

They cannot comprehend the meanness of what they are doing, and there is no reason ever to treat someone horribly. 

I cannot speak for everyone’s experience, only mine, but bullying has to end. 

Katelyn Eddington is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].