From the distant past to the present day, school has always been regarded as the second home for students. School is a place that stores numerous memories of the most innocent, carefree, and beautiful school years in everyone’s life. Not knowing since when discrimination, judgment, and despisement among students suddenly appear in a place which is considered to be “home”. What are the reasons for students who still wear a pure white shirt to divide "level" with their friends and give themselves the right to judge themselves more "noble" than others by some very subjective factors?
Intelligo has a chance to listen to an extremely sad story from a student who is seeking help.
"Although I was soon aware of the fact that I grew up without the care of my father, I always feel that I am truly fortunate as my mother is an independent and strong woman who always loves her children boundlessly. I really adore and admire my mother so I always try to be obedient and never ask for anything. In the suburbs, our life has passed peacefully and warmly.
Last year, my mother and I moved to the city. Although I was a bit overwhelmed by the modern appearance at first, I always tried to adjust myself to it in the most cheerful and optimistic way. I really missed my old friends, but my new friends here must also be kind and easy to approach, and my loneliness will soon be filled.
But the moment I stepped into the classroom, I could feel many unsympathetic eyes stared at me. "Maybe I was too nervous" - that was what I thought. Unfortunately, I was wrong. What they gave me at that time was not friendly greetings or warm help, they were words that made me heartbreaking like: "Ew, why did you dress so old-fashionedly?" or "How could such people study here?"
I’ve asked myself so many times that if I keep quiet and focus on my studies, will those insults and criticisms disappear? But day by day, not only did they continued their verbal abuse, but they also resorted to violence. It may be a light slap on a lucky day, or even a bucket of water poured on my head on a bad one. Is it really my fault that I'm not from a well-off family, so they treat me like that as a punishment?
I haven’t told my mom yet because I don't want her to worry, but I'm drowning and drowning in depression when my emotional and psychological traumas are rising nonstop. How can I deal with this agony? If someday I just can’t hold on anymore, mommy will be even more sorrowful, won’t she?”
Through the above story, we can see that discrimination against students with little or no wealth still existing in silence. For many people, bullying and discrimination is a tiny problem which doesn’t even need mentioning. But for those who have been through or still suffering from this, is it really that simple? Do you know how they feel? How many people have overcome these challenges in those cases, and how many of them have escaped the obsession of being mistreated during their school years as easily as people used to think?
The answer is extremely rare.
For individuals who had suffered discrimination, they will gradually lose their confidence, lose faith in themselves and everyone, which led to them not wanting to confide to anyone. As a consequence, the discrimination becomes more and more severe and have an immeasurable influence on the educational environment. When the whole world is heading towards equality in all aspects, these problems are still sneaking in every nook and cranny of our life.
There is a lot of advice and solutions that can be found online or given by others. Those words are most likely to be “Don’t remain silent, speak up!” or “Forget it, just focus on your studies so you won’t be affected. They’ll be bored and leave you alone.”... Maybe those words will be able to help many of us.
However, that’s not everything. Every single one of us is an individual species that has a distinctive way of thinking and way of sense. Not everyone is brave enough to raise their voices and not every single person is patient enough to silently tolerate through all those school years.
We need to stay conscious that this is not a one-sided issue which is toward the victims and “advise” them what to do, the problem comes from the bully. Not only the one who is involved but also school administration and parents have the equal responsibility in educating our children; imposing rules and punishment to deter the misbehaved and helping the victims can somehow improve the situation.
For all the people who are suffering, don’t forget that sharing, connecting and listening is conventional but essential. Don’t keep suffering by yourself. Reach out to close and trusted friends for a talk and perhaps they can give you helpful advice for your case. Sometimes, we just need a person willing to listen and showing us their feelings and sincere empathy, don’t we? That can help a lot.
Parallel with that, people who get trusted please try to listen and avoid giving immediate judgment. We might assume some of the jokes are normal to us but for the sensitive ones who are more insightful and take things seriously, that can be a deeper cut into their wound. Above all, we need to pay more attention to the emotions and actions of people around us, enhance our knowledge to protect ourselves from bullying at school as well as making progress toward a school environment and society without discrimination.