Making a Joke? Or Bullying? What is the difference.

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Making a Joke? Or Bullying? What is the difference.

This poster is hanging in the  West main hallway.

This poster is hanging in the West main hallway.

Yasmina Dannaoui

This poster is hanging in the West main hallway.

Yasmina Dannaoui

Yasmina Dannaoui

This poster is hanging in the West main hallway.

Yasmina Dannaoui and Gabriella Payeur

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Making a joke and bullying a person are two very different actions, but sometimes they can be confused for one another.

“So I guess to me joking would be actually joking as in somebody told somebody a specific type of joke,” says West counselor Mrs. Howe. “Bullying is an action that is repeated over and over again and, it hurts a person, it could be physical, mental, or emotional [bullying]” explains Mrs. Howe.

“Saying like knock-knock jokes,” says Ann Fitzgerald, a seventh-grader at West. “Like the other person that is getting joked to knows you’re joking,” says Isabella Maes, a seventh-grader at West.  “Being mean to someone and they know you’re not joking,” stated Isabelle Maes. “Bullying is when you say something hurtful and you mean it and even if it’s in a laughy way it’s still bullying,” says seventh-grader Ann FitzGerald.

Bullies are mainly people who are not your friend even if they say they are. “People that are your friends don’t bully you, so if they are truly a good friend they would not do that. If a friend is bullying you then they are really not your friend,” says counselor Mrs. Howe. Bullying happens to a lot of people and most of the time the bully is not a friend or not a true friend to the victim. Ann Fitzgerald reflected that her bully was just another student in science class.  

What can be done about bullying? Go directly to the counselors, Mrs. Swift or Mrs. Howe, or maybe even Mrs. Kulczycki, assistant principal. Utilize the bully box if you want to stay anonymous. “Sometimes kids put a name in the bully box and then we will call the kids down and, because it’s anonymous, we don’t know who reported that. So me and Mrs. Swift will say it was brought to our attention that this is going on can you tell me more about it,” counselor Mrs. Howe tells us. The bully box is located by the West Media Center doors.

The best thing to do is to go to an adult immediately. Once the counselors are informed, they bring you and the other(s) down to talk it through. The counselors will help you and the other(s) talk about the issue and try to resolve it. Mrs. Howe told us, “Then they say well you gotta stop and usually it stops right there. It doesn’t usually go on. If it does continue to go on then usually I don’t do the discipline in the building. Mrs.Kulczycki will and I tell the students if this continues we will go to her.”   

If you or someone you know is being bullied you should tell someone right away. Mrs. Howe tells us “…friends, true friends, never say something that would hurt someone else, because friends just don’t do that, friends are people that make you feel good not make you feel bad….”