October is National Anti-Bullying Month. In honor of this event, teenagers in our rehab center were asked to ponder two quotes from historians. Here are the quotes and the teenager’s responses.

“Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be an oppressor. But most of all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”
– Yehuda Bauer, Jewish Historian

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

– Elie Wiesel

 
Alex:
 
Stop-Bullying1“I think this quote has a lot of meanings but what it means to me is that if you are in a position as a victim walk away and don’t get yourself in those situations again. Also if you see someone being bullied then do something about it, go tell an adult who can help and stop the bully or if there are no adults around step in yourself and help out, pretend the person who is being bullied is you and you see someone who can stop the bullies but just walk away, imagine how he or she would feel. One time in 8th grade a kid named Eric was getting bullied in the cafeteria by a lot of my friends and he was sitting alone. So I left my table with all my friends and girlfriend and went to sit and help out the kid that was getting bullied. After that day no one bullied him again because they knew if they messed with him they would have to mess with me as well.”

Brandon:

“The quote means that you should never bully someone, but also never ever watch someone be bullied and not do anything about it. I think people don’t step in and stop the bully because they’re scared of the bully, but you don’t need to tell the bully to stop because there are other ways to stop it. You can tell a teacher and they’ll do what they can. You can tell your parent and they can tell the school. Also you can tell your school cop and they’ll definitely have a talk with the bully. You can do whatever you feel comfortable with, but you should never ever be quiet about it.”
 
Chloe:
“I think the quotes are relevant because I feel like, personally, people who let it happen have problems with themselves (they are too insecure, etc.) I have personally been in all three situations, I bullied a kid in middle school and I’ve seen people get bullied and I’ve been bullied. I now hate myself for bullying that kid when I was younger because I know what it feels like to be on the other side. One time these girls were bullying my friend Destini because they called her a “whore”, “slut”, “bitch”, etc. So I stepped in and told them to shut up. Then it was a big thing and the group of girls wanted to fight me. We didn’t fight, thank God, but I would’ve done it. So I am very strongly against bullying.”
 
Jimmy:
“I think this is a good quote, I don’t like bullying at all. I have seen somebody get bullied and I stop the problem any way I can. There have been situations where someone I know has bullied someone and I yelled at my friend for doing it. There was a time when these kids were making fun of an autistic kid and they started to push him. Me and my friend told them to chill but they wouldn’t so we pushed them back and started a big fight. Then the autistic kid went to the front office and told them what happened and we didn’t get into as much trouble as we would have for fighting. Instead of OSS [out of school suspension] we got a day in ISS [in-school suspension].”