Bullying: A Cancer that Must be Eradicated – sebuah cerita (story) tentang Bullying: A cancer that must be eradicated (bullying: kanker yang harus dibasmi).

Note: All names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved, especially the victims.

A tragic end to an education that had barely begun -13 year old Kiki stopped schooling because her classmates used to make fun of her relentlessly. They had accidentally discovered her humble background her father being a street vendor. In another case, 15 year old Dinda could not take it anymore. She became depressed, left school and stayed at home because she was constantly teased by her classmates for failing in Junior High School.

And yet another, more recent case, some senior students of a junior high school took seven junior students, and subjected them to violent beatings. Sherry, one of the junior students, was rushed to hospital with bruises on his abdomen. He is extremely scared to go to school. Julie, a 10 years old, fifth grade student, states that her first two years of elementary school were a traumatic experience. She sadly remembers being cruelly bullied by her male classmates because she was overweight. They used to call her Sumatra elephant, baboon, gentong and many other names.

These are few cases out of hundreds of similar cases and the number is increasing over the time. In Indonesia, bullying exists in every form, from teasing to extreme abuse. Even though incidents of bullying are common, unfortunately it is not seen as a major problem. A recent survey conducted by the National Child Protection Commission has shown that more than half of bullying incidents go unreported due to the fact that is considered normal in some parts of the society. Also the people who get bullied are either unwilling to report it because they feel it will “make a big deal”. Or worse, they are so scared that they don’t trust anyone and do not want to share their plight with anyone (Asia News Net). The issue of bullying has been a problem for years but recently it go limelight from news media when a few cases were reported.

Bullying affects the children both psychologically and physically. It is estimated that hundred of children iss school every day due to the fear of being mistreated by other students and, in some extreme cases, they choose to home school, or in severe circumstances, they stop studying altogether (Bullying Statistics).

Children should not be living in constant fear. They shouldn’t be afraid. On the contrary, they should look forward to every day of school and enjoy school life. According to a research, bullying has always existed in Indonesian society, but it has come to surface due to the recent proliferation of media technologies 9Craig, 2009). Since bullying is prevalent in our society, it is important that everyone should be made aware of this social evil. There should be campaigns to increase awareness. Everyone should be working together, against it, to stop it. It is distressing to see our children being isolated from society because they are treated badly. I am of the opinion that no one has any right to harass or make people feel interior. No one should have that kind of power. These children are our future and we should make every possible effort to stop bullying.

I would like to point out that bullying is everyone’s problem and responsibility. If you condone bullying in any way, shape or form, it means you are taking part in it, whether it is directly or indirectly, by being silent. The majority of people agree that we have to work together towards eliminating this problem.

Some people may consider taunting someone as funny, even though it is anything but funny to the person who is at the receiving end. Minor taunts can create a lot of pain and suffering. While it may seem innocent, the cumulative effect could be highly damaging. In addition to that, as the pain increases, each instance cuts a little deeper which eventually becomes a sore.

It is highly possible that bullying might happen in your school, so it is the liability of every student to protect their classmates and try to stop bullying. If it doesn’t work, then you should inform your teachers or parents.

Not many of us think of stopping it. As long as it doesn’t happen to us, why should we get involved, why should we brother? But the time has come for us to be actively involved in eradicating bullying (Farrington, 1993).

So, next time, if you see someone getting bullied, would you try to stop it or let it happen? Remember, bullying is everyone’s problem; therefore, everyone has to be the part of the solution. (Baca juga: The Story of The Enchanted Fish)

Read the questions carefully. Note down your opinions and reactions to the questions. During the discussion with your teacher and classmates, offer your personal reaction and understanding of the text.

  1. Do you think bullying is a serious in your school? Give reasons to support your opinion
  2. Did this opinion article raise/change your awareness about bullying? Please explain
  3. Do you think it is necessary to educate people on the issue of bullying? Why? Give reasons to support your answer
  4. Do you think bullying should be declared as a punishable crime? Give reasons to support your answer
  5. Discuss the article on bullying in a group. Does it change your perspective on bullying or not? Give reasons to support your answers
  6. Are you aware of cyber bullying? Do you think it is worse than physical bullying? Why? Support your opinion with examples
  7. What can young people like you do to prevent or stop bullying? List at least three things you and your friends can do to prevent or stop bullying.

(Sumber: Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan RI 2017 Bahasa Inggris Kelas XI  SMK/SMA/MAK)