Teen Truth Reaches Out to Local Students
Jared Scott, representing Teen Truth, gave a demonstration at Magnolia High School on Monday, Nov. 7 regarding bullying and school violence, and the consequences of such.
Since it’s inception in 2006, Teen Truth has reached over 7 million teenage lives and has partnered with companies such as Six Flags, Life Touch, and The Special Olympics. Last year Wetzel County was the first school district in West Virginia to host Teen Truth.
Last year’s presentation dealt with drug awareness.
On Nov. 7, Scott started off addressing the youthful audience about some of the situations of the Columbine School Shooting that took place in 1999. He presented a short video that had some of the actual surveillance videos and police audio recordings from the terrible massacre.
As part of his presentation, Scott also provided video footage from five students across America who had carried cameras and captured the essence of being a teenager at their schools. They recorded situations at school, on the bus, and even at home of bullying and degradation being done on a daily basis.
Scott himself just recently graduated from high school and expressed how difficult it can be being a high school student with all of the modern pressure that society puts on kids. He mentioned how it’s a full-time schedule to keep up with activities, keep up good grades, and keep up appearance to maintain the feeling of acceptance. It puts pressure on students to the point that some end up with eating disorders or hooked on steroids. Scott later mentioned that he had a childhood friend whose girlfriend had committed suicide. That experience inspired Scott to write a song, which he shared with the students.
Students learned how there are many forms of abuse that their peers face – verbal, physical, and mental abuse are some examples, but abuse goes much further than that. Bullying forces a person to feel less valued and worthless in society. The constant name-calling, shoving in the hallways, labeling, and constant embarrassment take a toll on a person’s mental well-being. Even experiences as feeling left out of situations and feeling alone create anxiety that teens have pressure coping with; it seems as though the teenage years are the most powerful as far as emotions and trying to feel accepted. Students were reminded that this is why they must stand up for one another, include one another, and educate everyone of the harmful effects of bullying.
Students were also reminded that sometimes the results of bullying and abuse are violent and leave multiple victims behind. For example, the Columbine Shooting ended with several lives lost and even more family members affected by the situation. Even in cases of suicide, the family is left to grieve the loss of a loved one due to the inconsiderate nature of children.
Scott mentioned that at times, one person can make a difference. He encouraged students to communicate with each other, talk to people when you see them off by themselves and most importantly, stand up against bullying. Scott finished the presentation by repeating the phrase, “If you’re not making a difference, then what are you doing?… Nothing.”