Anti-bullying seminar only temporarily effective

Liza Magill, Staff Writer

Although there was a lot of talk among the students of the topics addressed by the speaker Dr. Michael Fowlin, the bullying seminar didn’t leave a lasting impact on the BSM community or promote any improvement for the future. This is due to a lack of follow-up in the classroom, the students’ inability to remain serious about the discussion, and the selfish nature of teenagers.

Many think that the topic of bullying is fully addressed in religion classes, but since these classes need to follow a mandated curriculum, they don’t have time to focus on tangents such as speakers. Because of this, there has been a lack of discussion and application of the anti-bullying tactics and specific concerns within our school body. So while for the next few days people may have been conscious of their actions, Dr. Fowlin’s ideas have not continued into day-to-day practice and haven’t had a major impact.

One of the few ways in which I saw any effect within the first few days after the speaker was the use of the phrase “You are beautiful.” While this phrase can make a meaningful impact on someone’s day or life, when said to twenty people in a row, in the hallway, the phrase has little to no effect. The speaker encouraged students to seek out those who may be bullied and make sure they are being loved and understood, not to irrationally tell everyone that they are beautiful while trying to be funny for your friends.

People have many excuses about bullying in the BSM community, including that ‘it’s a high school’ and that ‘there will always be bullying’. While this may be true, students also just don’t want to change. They are too afraid to risk losing friends or being ‘popular’ to do what’s right for someone else.

Teenagers pretend that the world is about them and the problems that they have and the things they want to accomplish, and that others are just a roadblock in the way. By focusing on others and understanding truly what the speaker means, students can put aside their differences and create change for the future.

While the anti-bullying speaker, Dr. Michael Fowlin, spoke to BSM about a prevalent issue and had a meaningful message for students, the BSM community hasn’t responded to his call of action. Even though there may always be bullying in high school, students need to take a chance and change their actions for the betterment of the entire school.