The Playground Issue
By Hannah D.
The playground is a place to have fun and play, but is there a dark side to it? Could it be that something so innocent could turn out to be not what it seems?
The playground issue doesn’t just take place on the playground, it takes place at recess in general. To give a brief explanation, the playground issue is when a child is seen alone during recess, is seen being bullied or manipulated, and nothing is done about it. This is something adults are trying to fix, but it seems just when things are going good, a new problem appears.
A way that the adults try to fix it is by talking it out, creating things like ‘Start With Hello’ and keeping an eye on the victim and the bully. Sadly, sometimes these things aren’t enough. I might just be a child, but as someone who has a bit of experience, I have a few things to point out suggestions and ideas.
Something that happens A LOT is when a kid is being bullied and the adults don’t see it, the child being bullied finally snaps and the adults turn around and get the wrong idea. This is a way bullies get away with awful things. A suggestion I have for this is instead of having the adults help with drama over who gets to hit the ball first, try to have some of the parents volunteer so the school has more lunch aids and spread them all over the blacktop and playground. This way things can be caught early and put to a stop. (Also, I think you’d be a great lunch-aid, Mom!)
A thing I mentioned in the previous paragraph is how the adults spend lots of time fixing dramas (Most of them don’t even make sense. Just do rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to throw the frisbee first!) that the children should be able to sort out by themselves. Since the adults are busy fixing the little issues, sometimes big things aren't seen.
Some of these things cannot be stopped, and some of them can. I have a plan that could help kids feel a little bit better, though. Start a group. A group of kids who have been bullied or kids who have had kids say rude things continuously.
In this group, we could have the kids talk about their experiences and things that they have learned. This could help kids make new friends, help them feel less alone and could spread ideas or advice for kids going through the same thing right now.
I’d love to help in a group like this, and maybe, if the principal and guidance counsellor like my idea, we could put this plan into action. To all the people reading this, bullying is NOT ok, and you should always try to speak up against it. Whether it’s an adult or child, anyone can bully and anyone can be bullied. To all the people being bullied now, I know it’s hard to talk about it, but my advice to you is to always stand up for yourself.