Modern Day Bullying: A Teenage Boy’s Perspective


Yesterday we talked to a 13-year-old girl about bullying. Today, we thought we’d ask a 13-year-old boy the same questions and see if there is a gender gap when it comes to the perception of, and means of handling, bullying in today’s society. If you missed yesterday’s post, do check it out here.

BULLY4HOW OLD ARE YOU AND WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN?
13. In 7th.

DO YOU SEE MUCH BULLYING, MUCH OF KIDS PICKING ON EACH OTHER AT SCHOOL?
I guess. I mean not always AT school, but there are kids that do get bullied outside of school or wherever.

YOUR SCHOOL IS 6TH-8TH GRADES?
Yeah.

WHAT GRADE DO YOU THINK IT HAPPENS IN THE MOST?
I guess all the same really. I mean 6th graders might try to pull some stuff to act cool and 8th graders do the same. Trying to I guess intimidate the 6th and 7th graders because they’re older and getting ready to leave for high school. Probably the least is my grade. 7th graders are in the middle. They don’t care.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
7th graders have already gotten used to it there so they don’t need to act cool or get people to like them because they’re not new. And they’re not really gonna mess with the 8th graders that much.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS TO BULLY SOMEONE?
Just picking on them I guess. Calling them names. Threatening them or trying to fight with them. Making fun of them for stuff that you probably shouldn’t be.

LIKE WHAT KIND OF STUFF? CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF THAT? (This question and the following were not asked of our 13-year-old girl)
I don’t know, like last year this kid’s mom died. Actually she died a long time ago but for some reason people started messing with him about not having a mom.

THAT IS A PRETTY MEAN THING TO PICK ON SOMEONE ABOUT, DO YOU AGREE?
Yeah. That’s why mostly all of his friends stuck up for him right away. He actually punched the one kid who kept saying stuff about his mom and he wound up getting suspended. So like 6 of his friends went to the office and told them that he was only defending himself, but he still got suspended because they said he shouldn’t have hit the kid, he should have gotten a teacher or something.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT IS JUST “NORMAL” KID BEHAVIOR, THAT IT’S JUST KIDS BEING KIDS?
Not all kids act like that and the ones that do give a bad name to the ones that know better.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER KIDS TEASED EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME AND IT ALWAYS BLEW OVER AND EVERYTHING WAS FORGIVEN USUALLY IN A DAY OR TWO. DO YOU THINK IT’S HARDER FOR KIDS NOW?
Kids don’t wanna look weak in front of their friends or whatever. That’s why when someone says something usually you’re gonna fight back even if you don’t want to. Most of the time you’re friends again if you were before but if it’s someone you never really liked or hung out with, you’re just gonna walk away and not talk.

WHAT ABOUT THE INTERNET- CYBERBULLYING AND THAT STUFF, DO YOU SEE THAT?
I see it. I mean people post stuff on each others kik and Instagram and stuff if they don’t like you. They might put up stuff, but you can take it down. I know there are kids out there who have been bullied really bad. I guess my friends just aren’t into that.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THAT STUFF THOUGH? WHY IS IT WORSE TO BE BULLIED NOWADAYS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE?
I don’t know if it’s worse but everyone can see it. Like if someone comes up to you after school, a few people might see it or whatever, but if someone puts it on kik or tweets something about you, a lot more people are gonna see that.

DID YOU SEE MORE BULLYING WHEN YOU WERE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OR NOW THAT YOU ARE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL?
I think I’ve seen more actual fights because little kids don’t really fight as much. There was a big fight on the first day of 6th grade and the first day of 7th grade. But I only remember one fight in elementary school, that was in 5th. You’re younger so you don’t think about that stuff, you just want to hang out with your friends, ride your bikes, or whatever.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN EXPERIENCING MUCH BULLYING IN YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS WHICH IS A GOOD THING. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
I guess we wouldn’t really be friends if we didn’t like each other. And you’re not gonna bully someone who’s your friend.

WHAT ABOUT ONLINE? I KNOW YOU’RE SOCIAL MEDIA IS LIMITED AT 13, BUT DO YOU SEE MUCH OF IT GOING ON THERE?
Nah. I mean, you see mean stuff and a lot of bad jokes but I don’t see that much bullying.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK ABOUT BULLYING?
None of my friends are into that stuff.

WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY KIDS RECENTLY HAVE TRIED HURTING THEMSELVES OR EVEN KILLING THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING BULLIED FOR A LONG TIME?
I guess they couldn’t deal with it. I guess if it gets that bad that someone is messing with you every single day and you don’t even want to go to school anymore or go out, they’re probably thinking they have no reason to live. Maybe they don’t have anyone to talk to about it. They maybe can’t tell their parents so they can help them and instead they decide to do that.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM IF YOU COULD, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM TO DO?
That they probably have friends that have their back. And if they don’t they really need to tell their parents because your parents are gonna help you no matter what you do. And if they really don’t want to do that, they should talk to some other adult that can find someone to help them. Because they’re going to be sorry someday that they cut their life so short for nothing.

DO YOU THINK THAT THERE IS MORE BULLYING BETWEEN GIRLS AND GIRLS, BOYS AND BOYS, BOYS AND GIRLS, OR IS IT ALL THE SAME?
Boys probably fight more. They try to look cool. Girls always have drama going on but they usually are just talking behind each others backs or whatever and then the next day they are best friends. Probably more boy bullies. Actually, I don’t know. I feel like boys have better stuff to do than that like they can’t be bothered and girls like to act mean to other girls.

Remember to view yesterday’s interview to see how the male vs female teen perspective varies. And check back for more about bullies, bullying, and support all week-long.

*photo credit: THINK before you via photopin (license)

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