Standing up against bullying

Teachers, students take actions against aggressors


Valerie Benzinger

The Farmer Tip Line can be reached at 972-505-5763 to report instances of bullying.

Depression, sadness and anxiety are a few symptoms victims of bullying face; the victims need courageous people who stand up against the bullies. These unafraid people can be anyone including teenagers, teachers, counselors and coaches and they’ll act by using the Farmer Tip Line for emergencies.

The Farmer Tip Line is an anonymous tip line created to ensure the safety of the students. Anyone is able to call or text 972-505-5763 to report instances including but not limited to bullying, threats, suicidal thoughts and domestic violence.

“I think it’s really important that we have [the tip line] because sometimes we just get some random things on there,” principal Jeffrey Kajs said. “But we are really good at filtering and understanding; if there’s a serious situation we can act on it quickly.”

When students are aware principals are not ignoring their reports of bullying, it provides them with the courage to go out of their ways to help others in need.

“Every situation that is reported we take seriously, whether [they] are 15 years old [or] 17 years old,” assistant principal Jennifer Boniol said. “No one is allowed to be mistreated in any way so we address every report.”

Interacting with people isn’t always easy as it takes time to build connections in order to communicate better and establish strong friendships.

“A student bullies more because they feel it solves their social problems; it’s easier to bully someone [than] to work out things or manage emotions or learn how to solve problems,” counselor Yvette Swain said. “They’re always looking for an easy way out so they bully.”

Bullies in their younger years never learn how to manage their emotions as they take their frustrations out on someone else. By doing this, the aggressors have a sense of superiority over their victims with the enjoyment of power the victims provide them.

“Bullies are [made by] being bullied themselves or their jealousy [toward] someone; [bullies] haven’t learned problem-solving skills when they were little so they treat other kids through force and intimidation,” Swain said.

In an effort to promote genuine positivity and kindness, high school teachers and staff throughout the district work to promote the BE KIND message. Students learn through Monday advisory lessons that kindness can touch the heart of others and make a true difference at the school.

“Spreading kindness is what we should be doing,” senior Shawn Boyer said. “[We should also] prevent bullying if [we] see it happening and try to stop it.”

Human connections are what promote kindness and create strong bonds between family, friends and teammates because without these connections lasting bonds wouldn’t be possible.

“Spending time with others and going outside for sports [and other activities] helps the most to strengthen [human] bonds,” history teacher and football coach Jong Lee said.