Senior Bonner Scholar, Alivia Pinnix, reflects on bullying as a social issue she has encountered through her community engagement in Richmond.
The factors that contribute to bullying include prejudices about various personal identities. I have found that kids bully other kids who are different from them, but even more than that they bully kids who are socially misunderstood. Pre-teens and teens tend to pick on students who have identities that they do not understand and therefore consider abnormal or nonhuman.
For example, some students get picked on for identifying as homosexual. It is also the case that students get picked on because others assume that they are homosexual even if they themselves do not identify that way. Society has taught children to believe that heterosexuality is the norm, so identities and practices outside the norm are shunned. This encourages bullying at school.
The same can be said for individuals who identify outside of the gender binary which refers to man and woman. Individuals who identify as transgender or intersex do not fit into those categories and are made to feel as if they are not human. It is always unfortunate and unacceptable for individuals to be made to feel as though they are not human or do not deserve to live.