No one has to suffer violence

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An empty school corridor

My name is Mauricio. I am a 15-year-old boy from Mexico, and like many of us, I have witnessed bullying.

According to what I have read, the term bullying refers to all those peer-to-peer acts of violence, harassment, intimidation, etc., that occur among young people like us. I am almost certain that you may have witnessed at least once or several times, how some young people bully their peers, how they despise, exclude or hurt others.

Personally, it has always troubled me when someone bothers another person, especially when the other person has done nothing to the bully. I think that as children or young people we should take action on the matter. That is, to stand up for those who suffer bullying.

I think that as children or young people we should take action on the matter. That is, to stand up for those who suffer bullying.

Frequently, as a matter of luck or fate, we get to spend time with people who don't like us at all, but as some parents say: we must treat others the same way we want to be treated. Imagine that someday you move away from home and arrive at a new place, where you don't have any friends, where you don't know anything or anyone. You go to your new school for the first time and you meet your new classmates, but none of them want to talk to you and the days go by.

It must be super sad not to have any friends; and if on top of that, your classmates start bullying you and making jokes because of your accent or place of birth you will start to feel very upset. Maybe you'll even stop going to school, because, why would you go if everyone just bothers you?

I bet this situation is one of the least you would like to experience. Surely you would like adults to recognize this by themselves or, to arm yourself with courage to tell an adult what is happening, or that a friend gives you advice or support to report this situation.

Imagine that someday you move away from home and arrive at a new place, where you don't have any friends, where you don't know anything or anyone. You go to your new school for the first time and you meet your new classmates, but none of them want to talk to you and the days go by.
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Students in a school in Ecuador write 'kind notes' to each other as part of a campaign for the International Day of Friendship (July 30th), focused on ending violence in schools.
Students in a school in Ecuador write 'kind notes' to each other as part of a campaign for the International Day of Friendship (July 30th), focused on ending violence in schools.

Now put yourself on the other side of the equation. You have been living in Mexico City for a couple of years, and “Tokun”, a boy of Asian origin, arrives at your school. Your classmates bother him to the point that he pretends to be sick at home just to escape from attending classes. Anyway, you still see him at school, and you often witness how David, one of your classmates, keeps on giving him a tough time, and even makes him cry. Unfortunately, even if it bothers you to see David's treatment you can´t fight to tell him to leave him alone, even if you wanted to, because you would only continue to promote violence, and you would not risk being bullied yourself.

At this point I would seek to become a friend of Tokun, since, despite being from different backgrounds, he is also a boy who likes to play and have fun as much as I do. I think that, if he has me as a friend, I could help him to show our class that he has many things to teach us about his culture. Although the bullying might continue, I think it would all end if we go together and talk to a trusted adult and explain what is happening, it could be the teacher, or the tutor or someone else that we know that can help us.

Also, as a friend of Tokun, I would also go and tell David that it is not right to bully others, because he surely would not like to go through the same kind of situation. Maybe this way we could end this type of violence and stop a practice that is hurting someone who just wants to be happy like the rest of us.

Let's say enough violence! As young people, we can stop this bad practice that seems normal, let's do something so that the next generations do not have to live this situation. If we are all equal we can start treating everyone with love. No one has to suffer violence.

We might be young, but we must be empathic. Let´s consider others and live to the fullest every emotion that comes our way. After all, we are the ones who will lead our country and even the world in just a few years. Let's say enough violence! As young people, we can stop this bad practice that seems normal, let's do something so that the next generations do not have to live this situation. If we are all equal we can start treating everyone with love. No one has to suffer violence.

Mauricio, 15, is a high school student from Mexico City. He is currently part of a radio education program, in addition to collaborating with UNICEF, SIPINNA and various organizations dedicated to children.

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