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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Staff Editorial

Bullying an epidemic that can be dealt with

It’s hardly a new issue. In fact, most of us have, at some point in our lives, been bullied. Though, with the increase in the number of teenage suicides recently, many officials are now calling it a national crisis, a pandemic even.

Last month, 13-year-old Asher Brown committed suicide after being made fun of for being gay, and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee held a town hall meeting Monday in response to the sudden scourge.

“It’s been a nightmare that I never wake up from,” Brown’s mother, Amy Truong, told MyFox Houston. “We would like to hear from the lawmakers and the people who have influence to see what we can do about putting more laws on the books, getting more information into the schools, to the parents, to the kids (and) to the teachers.”

National ARD/IEP Advocates founder Lou Geigerman said that the continuation and advancement of bullying throughout the years is a cultural thing.

“It’s sort of like going to a restaurant — when you stop into a restaurant, you can tell the ambience of the place,” Geigerman said. “Similarly, in a bullying environment, if it’s allowed to flourish, things aren’t reported, people are scared to speak up about it and that’s what allows it to continue to accelerate.”

At universities, especially at one as diverse as UH, we have learned how to get along with one another on a day-to-day basis for the most part. While we don’t necessarily all hang out after class and share our innermost secrets with one another, our student body is peaceful and respectful of each another.

We may oftentimes take it for granted, but it is pretty amazing if you stop and look at the diversity of our school. Perhaps UH students can serve as a reminder to others that it is possible to get along, tolerate each other’s differences and grow together.

Even if Brown’s former school places a zero-tolerance policy, Truong hopes for more.

“There needs to be a change (and) more education in the school systems, not just Cy-Fair, but all of them,” she said.

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