Bullying has become a major issue in the past 5 years. This is something we hear of way too often whether it is at school, work, or even on the news. Bullying is not your typical kid who steals a student’s lunch money either; there are several cases worldwide that have ended in suicide for some. When it comes down to the severity of suicide or even physical harm that is when it’s no longer just a simple slap on the wrist, but rather a closer, deeper look into what we can start doing to change this and fast.
In There’s Only One Way to Stop a Bully, an essay written by Susan Engel and Marlene Sandstrom they speak about this issue in depth. Sandstrom and Engel speak of specific ways we as a community and faculty at schools should incorporate lessons on how to deal, recognize, and solve bullying in everyday life. The authors also speak of a new law that has been passed in order to address and stop bullying. They support this claim by providing us with examples. One example is telling us of ideas that teachers have put to the test to defeat this issue, such as a teacher enforcing a rule that students could not exclude anyone from their play and the positive impact this brought. Sandstrom and Engel also support this by telling us of a school in Norway that has put much emphasis on this issue and by doing so, have succeeded in lowering the bullying rate.
Although the authors brought valid points, there are a few key factors missing from this essay. One being that when Sandstrom and Engel introduced this new law that was passed to target bullying, they did not go into enough detail as far as the specifics of this law. What are the consequences of this law? It states that the most serious cases of bullying should be reported to law officials but at what degree do they consider bullying serious? I found myself asking these questions when reading the essay. This
particular law was such a big part of the essay; I felt that more emphasis was needed. Another weakness I found in this essay was that I did not feel like it was so much an argumentative piece of writing but rather an essay informing me of instances and facts. In argumentative writing I always find myself stopping to relate, or to agree/disagree with the author on the topic. Although the authors made great points, while reading this I did not once stop to react to what the author was supposed to be “arguing”.
There were many things that I enjoyed about this essay and brought me a positive outlook on this topic. The author used a lot of examples making it easy to read and make sense of the main claim. For instance, the author spoke of the success this law has made possible by speaking of Norway, a school who has really recognized this issue and applied it to their curriculum. The author also noted a teacher in particular who has enforced a specific rule in helping eliminate bullying. Rather than speaking of instances in a plain matter the author used specific examples and listed persons in particular bringing the realness of the matter to life.