I'm writing in response to the news story about two Adelaide teens, William Russell and Millie Warne, who used the internet to promote a positive mental health message and deal with bullying. I believe they will encourage teenagers and address their concerns. Bullying is one of the worst teenage problems. Any form of bullying is heartless, causing fear and affecting teens' daily lives.
These days it seems some people take delight in hurting others, calling them names or using foul language. Luckily, major websites like Facebook and Twitter do not tolerate cyber-bullying. If we report the bully to the website's staff, they will give warnings and might even close the account. But the crucial thing is that we report the bullies to the staff. So, staying silent is not a useful or smart way to deal with the issue. We should ask our parents, social workers, and maybe even the police, for help to stop the bullies. Also, the government should find ways to end bullying.
Betty Wong, St Paul's School (Lam Tin)
Thank you for your letter, Betty. While we know this kind of behaviour goes on in the West, it is difficult to pinpoint here in Hong Kong. One of the biggest reasons is that the victims are afraid to speak up.
But it's not just the victims who are losing in this scenario. Anyone who sees bullying and doesn't do anything about it, or takes part in the bullying, is also harming themselves. All people should be treated with dignity; any bullying victim is not being given this basic human right. But also, by bullying others or just doing nothing to stop it, takes away our dignity. If we aspire to be honourable adults, we need to ask ourselves what we find acceptable and what we will not tolerate. Bullying is one of those messed-up things that happen in life, and if we see it, we need to tell an adult.
If any of our readers have experienced bullying and want to talk about it, we are always ready to listen.