Dealing with bullies on campus

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By Kelley Collins / Staff Writer

By Kelley Collins / Staff Writer

Bullying is often seen as an act that only occurs in grade school. It is associated with the playground or teenage years.

Many view bullying as an act that fades away in college.

“I have not seen bullying on campus,” said Kaizer Encarnacion, a student at Riverside City College

However, this is not the case for all students.

Tom Waddell is one student who became a victim of bullying at Riverside City College after defending a friend of his who was being harassed on campus.

“My friends and I were in the cafeteria, and we saw a friend of ours being harassed by a guy she did not know. He was trying to talk to her alone and she was uncomfortable, so we intervened and tried to get her away from him,” Waddell said.

The bully left the girl alone, then focused his actions on Waddell.

“From then on, he would harass me every time he saw me on campus. He would yell, and say I was being racist towards him,” Waddell said.

Waddell did not report to the campus police about the situation nor did he confront the bully and harass him back.

 Instead, Waddell chose to let the situation resolve itself.

When the bully began shouting, Waddell ignored him. After a while, the bully stopped harassing Waddell altogether.

 “The situation kind of died out. In retrospect, it wasn’t a big problem, just a nuisance,” Waddell said.

 Waddell has not had any other incidents with bullying in his three years as a student at RCC.

“I don’t really see bullying outside my group of friends,” Waddell said.

The tactic of ignoring a bully’s taunts is commonly used when dealing with bullies.

When a bully fails to get a reaction out of their target, they often move on to another victim.

    Others say if they were the target of a bully, they would seek support from friends or family members, someone they trusted.

“I would personally discuss it with friends,” Encarnacion said.

      For those who are victims of bullying on campus, RCC has resources to help cope.

Students can walk into the Student Health Center and make a counseling appointment with a licensed therapist.

    Daniel Casella, a therapist who works at RCC, gives his perspective on bullying.

While he says he has not seen many students at RCC who have dealt with a bully, he has helped many other young people who have.

“People become bullies because they have low self-esteem,” Casella said. “They’re feeling weak and insecure and may have been neglected or abused at home.”

For those who do find themselves victims of a bully, Casella gives some advice.

 “Asking or pleading a bully to stop will not help. Be assertive. An assertive response is passive. If you stand up for yourself, it is the best way to be,” Casella said

Passing classes, balancing jobs and school, and planning for the future puts stress onto students.

For those also coping with the stress of a bully, the anxiety can become too much to handle. Students who are afraid to come to class because of a bully should report the situation and seek help.

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