Discrimination has always strived with humanity since the early years of this earth. We as human beings must come to realize that attractive looks do not make a person. Identify a person by their character. There is a saying Dave Barry once said about judging people. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” This statement is saying to not just give all your attention to a person’s appearance but to look beyond that.
In the beginning of the book, Eleanor just moved so she was new to the area. She was big with crazy bright red hair and she wore some men’s clothing. On her first day of school, she was bullied by students on the school bus. When she came on the bus, everyone stared at her like she was an enemy. In chapter 2, it states, “That girl-all of them-hated Eleanor before they even laid eyes on her. Like they’d been hired to kill her in a past life” (Rowell 11). Because of her appearance, she was mistreated by those on the bus. Tina called her a bozo and would not allow Eleanor to sit next to her. They filled in the available seats by either placing their backpacks there or they sat on the edge of their seats to make it look like there were no empty seats.
When I was in high school, there was this guy in a couple of my classes who would get picked on almost every day. Students would talk bad about how big his lips were and the way he dressed. They would tell him to do things that could have got him in trouble. He would do what others would tell him to be liked by everyone. He also used to cut himself on his wrist because he was depressed. I would use to talk and hang out with him because I did not like how they were treating him. I wanted him to know I cared for him and that he is not alone. I never liked seeing innocent students being harassed by bullies. It would be nice if a popular student or athlete stood up for those being bullied. I believe that would make positive changes on the campus to show it is not okay to cause harm to others for no reason.
There is a study done by the National Bullying Prevention Center stating more than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied (Hawkins, Pepler, & Craig, 2001). 64% of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36% reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, & Hanson, 2010). The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%) (Davis & Nixon, 2010).
There is also bullying with adults. You would think immature behavior would cease when you become an adult but unfortunately this is an issue with them as well. Unlike the youth, they bully verbally more so than physical abuse. There are several types of adult bullies. Narcissistic Adult Bully: This bully only thinks about his/herself and shows little compassion toward others. They also show little fear in consequences. Verbal Adult Bully: They use hurtful words to damage someone. Rumors and lies can spread on the job to embarrass other employees. They may bash others down because they do not make as much money as them or because of their job position. There are many different reasons why this goes on with adults. Secondary Adult Bully: This type of bully does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves instead of doing what is right.
Park stood up for Eleanor when the kids in the back of the bus start chanting “Go. Big. Red.” (Rowell 22) at Eleanor. When they get off the bus, Park takes off his coat and drops his backpack. Eleanor tells him to stop, but Park says he’s “ending this”, by which he means the bullying. She tells Park that if this is for her, to stop because she doesn’t want him to do it, but Park is too furious. Steve gets off the bus and makes another nasty remark to Eleanor, and Park snaps. He shoves Steve toward the bus, and when Steve shoves back, Park steps back, spins into the air, and kicks Steve in the mouth. They start fighting in earnest, in front of everyone. Finally, Park and Steve are pushed apart. Steve’s bleeding from the mouth, and Park’s face is covered with blood. “Leave… my girlfriend… alone” (Rowell 22), Park says. Steve says he didn’t know Eleanor was Park’s girlfriend.
Have respect for people whether your friends with them or not. Stand up for people who struggle with being bullied. We can the world a better place by standing for righteousness.
Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013. Print.