The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Anti-Bullying Programs in Hinsdale Central; Where Are They? Nowhere.

Courtesy of Wikimedia

My last real anti-bullying program was in middle school for an assembly. A guy said, “Don’t bully.” and rode on his bicycle for 45 minutes. 45 minutes of bicycle riding and a couple words on bullying. His message was good, but did it really touch any student’s heart? Probably not.

Hinsdale Central needs to implement an anti-bullying program. 

On Hinsdale Central’s website on their Anti-Bullying page there are four sentences about their deepest condolences to kids who have been bullied and that they can contact the school. OUR school will do NOTHING for you UNTIL you have already been bullied. Kids already have the hardest time coming out about people bullying them because of threats and pure shame. Hinsdale Central will not do anything about preventing the problem.

In addition, in the student handbook for Hinsdale Central in 7:180 Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment, nothing is explicitly said about an organized program, only that offenders will be punished. Punished? Punished, after the damage has been done. Where was the prevention plan that was said in the title? Nowhere. 

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On the LTHS webpage prevention programs tab, you would find the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) which  is a national, non-profit organization after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, 2012 along with SAVE, a club they started. Patrcia Callahan the club sponsor for SAVE said, “While our club is not specifically an anti bullying club, we are a club that teaches students how to prevent violence of any kind in our school BEFORE it happens–this can include bullying.” Kate Pignotti, a junior from LTHS stated, “There isn’t much bullying at all. We do have groups of people who work to overcome bullying.” Why does LTHS have programs working to help the students of their school but we don’t? 

This issue is becoming urgent as teenagers are susceptible to cyberbullying. From the Cyberbullying Research Center, the percentages  of kids wanting to stay home from school because they were bullied doubled in 2023 from 2016. These students answered with alarming percentages on the following statements: posted mean or hurtful comments about me online (77.5%)  spread rumors about me online (70.4%) someone embarrassed or humiliated me online (69.1%). Let. It. Sink. In. 

Cyber-bullying is a complex issue but is also a serious issue. Peter Macaulay, a lecturer in social psychology, states that as of 2020 kids are less knowledgeable about the dangers of social media, have less fear for consequences online, and believe cyberbullying is more of a problem than face-to-face bullying. Cyberbullying is a serious concern, especially as technology keeps advancing. It’s important for schools to address this issue immediately.

A senior student at Hinsdale Central who wanted to remain anonymous said, “Groups generally try to peg on one or two students who are vulnerable or who are a lot different than them.” 

They said, “The recognition would be good but it might make a student feel more vulnerable.” The problem is that we must start somewhere. Students may feel vulnerable with this implementation yet if nothing is done that stigma will never be broken. Who will break the stigma and start a reform? I would like to see Hinsdale Central’s Red Devils take a stand and enact bullying prevention programs through a club/organization.

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