By: Jayden Lukas & Jake Spector
Everyone at some time in their life has felt the effects of being bullied. Bullies have become a sort of rite of passage for some. However this is one rite of passage that is far from necessary and in many cases actually does far more harm than good. What we would like to attempt to cover is just how does one deal with a bully and navigate the waters safely here at Hogwarts. This article is to let you know that you are not alone. Far from it in fact. First off what exactly is a bully? A bully is also one of us. Anyone of us can in fact be a bully to someone else. Anytime we might make fun of someone or say something without thinking that could be considered hurtful we become the bully that we may so loathe at other times. The bullies we are referring to in this article though are the ones who derive pleasure from hurting those who they see as beneath them on an ongoing basis. But in all actuality the bully is the weaker one in the eyes of some of the others around him.
So then how does one deal with with a bully particularly one who is larger or several years older than you? There are several defensive spells that even a first year can do to at least block an attack. This however may serve to anger the bully further and should be undertaken if there is no other option. The first suggestion would be to walk with a friend or classmate. This would serve as a witness to any potential trouble. It also is to your advantage that there is someone else to go get an older student or Professor for help. Bullies like to corner individuals at least in my own experience they do. Having witnesses around to see their antics is not usually something they want. There is safety in numbers for other things besides bullying. Last year when we were facing several threats in the school this was the advice that we were given. Being caught alone and off guard can mean that we find ourselves is a large amount of trouble facing a threat that wants us either bruised, maimed or dead. So the second piece of advice is always have your wand on you. Even if you can’t yet do many spells your wand may save your life. Bullies are not used to being stood up against. This demonstrates to them that you are not as weak as they first thought. A bully preys on one’s weakness and this emboldens them. Just by the fact that you stand up, many times this action takes some of the wind from their sails. So stand up to them, but instead of immediately resorting to casting try and talk with them and find out if perhaps you did or said something that they didn’t like to make them want to hurt you. If there was nothing or they seem to be thinking about their answer, don’t just stand there waiting. Try to put yourself in a position to run. There is no cowardice in using a judicious escape especially if you recognize that you are clearly out of your league against the bully. The point being that you want to escape unscathed. Make your way to an older student or a Professor who you trust and tell them what happened. If you were threatened or cast at by the bully, you may not be able to escape. However if you are with someone they likely will be able to. Yell, yodel or sing (offkey singing is fine too) as loud as you can and have your friend or classmate go for help. It may be a large castle but you will still likely be heard by someone. The point is you want to survive and let someone closer to their age and skill deal with them. We are students who are here to learn. This learning starts when we realize that being from a different house means nothing. We are a school first. And our fellow students are just that fellow students. When evil comes against us, we stand as a body against that said evil. When we do not stand up to those who would deprive us of our rights and our self esteem then the bullies win and we never stop living in fear. A bully thrives in creating chaos and fear. Terror is their weapon. We must all be brave enough to face what we fear and face those who would demean us. There should be no tolerance for those who bully others. Each of us has unique gifts and deserves to be treated with respect. We do not deserve to be demeaned or made to feel less for any reason.
What is most important is to talk to those who you trust when you are bullied. Don’t let yourself be terrorized into isolating yourself from others. Don’t be afraid to approach a Professor, a staff member or even one of the older students or prefects. Bullying behavior is not tolerated here. As witches and wizards we are all one family here at Hogwarts. We may have been sorted into different houses, yet all together we are one school. Each of us can and must do his or her own part to end bullying.