The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Students react to Bully experience

The causes of bullying, and what the key steps are in fixing the issue were two topics discussed on Oct. 23 in the Little Theatre when filmmaker Lee Hirsch gave insight to his newly released documentary Bully.

Hirsch, a victim of bullying himself, sees bullying as one of America’s biggest problems today. He started filming his documentary in fall of 2009, following over 20 kids, their schools, and their families for more than two years.

While only giving the audience a brief preview of the film, Hirsch discussed with students how they could become active in anti-bullying efforts.

Fransisco Escobar, a sophomore from the school of education said he has been an active participant in anti-bullying efforts. He, along with junior Elizabeth Cappizzi created an organization called “You Can Make it Better”, and states that teaching in a safe environment is key.

While he said he was never abused to the extent of those in the film, he said being one of the only Latinos in a predominantly white school made him feel slightly isolated.

Escobar said he felt those in charge of schools should take more responsibility when bullying happens in their institutions.

“For one, the teachers and administration should be more conscious of social actions of students,” he said. He believes that both public and private schools should have cameras in hallways, playgrounds, etc. observing what students are doing.

In preventing bullying he states that talking about it and being open is essential. “These kids think it’s the norm to bully other kids…it’s not okay.”

Mercedes Trejo, president of Kappa Phi Beta, claims that she was never bullied but her little brother has been. She shared that her brother called her one day telling her that a boy at school threatened to cut him, and immediately she let her parents know, which lead to her school and police in California knowing.

Trejo agreed with Escobar in saying administrators need to be more aware of what’s going on.

“Definitely, first teachers should be educated and should be taught to see the signs. Parents should be more connected in student’s education. Teachers and parents should be working together.”

Trejo also said students should speak up if they ever encounter bullying. “First, it’s not their fault. They have to speak up to a teacher, parent, friend, and they should love themselves.”

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About the Contributor
Alexa Vagelatos, Opinion Editor
Alexa is a  junior communications major who intends to allow students to express themselves freely.
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