Is Bullying an Issue at CCHS?

Source for photo above:

Olivia Williams ‘26, Staff Writer

“The reality is, you never really know what is going on in someone’s life,” observed a senior at Central Catholic High School in a recent poll conducted regarding bullying at the school.

In the United States, 1 in 5 students are bullied between the ages of 12-18. Additionally,160,000 teenagers skip school because of one or multiple bullies. Most students deal with bullying at one time or another, and it affects many more people than we realize.

I would like to make something very clear: Central Catholic works hard to make sure bullying is not an issue, and I know that for the most part, our school environment is safe, supportive, and kind. However, the reality is that some people are still struggling. Hopefully this article helps someone struggling to feel safe enough to reach out and get help.

In a recent poll of about 300 students from Central, the results were fascinating. Bullying is not as big of an issue at CCHS as it is nationwide, as 53.3% of students said they did not feel it was a problem here. 39.1% of students said they felt it was sometimes a problem here, and 7.6% said it definitely was.

When asked if they had ever experienced bullying while attending Central, the majority of responses said no (90.8%). Although, when asked if they had ever witnessed bullying at CCHS, 32.3% said yes.

My final question was if there was a bullying incident involving the respondent or a friend, would they tell a member of staff at CCHS? 76% of responses said yes.

In order to learn more about how bullying is handled at Central Catholic, I interviewed Assistant Principals of Student Success, Mr. Murray and Mr. Sipsey. They were very informative and open about school policy and their desire to help students.

By the CCHS student handbook definition, bullying is “the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target.”

“The word repeated is part of that definition of bullying,” said Mr. Murray. “If we can get in front of a situation early, we can stop it from being a repeated situation.”

This is important to note because not every situation is considered bullying. However, all situations can escalate into bullying if not handled properly..

After discussing the topic of stopping bullying behavior before it goes too far, Mr. Sipsey emphasized how at the end of the day, people need to speak up when they have an issue.

“We only can deal with what we know,” he said, “And if we don’t know what’s happening, there’s no ability for us to help.”

Along with members of the CCHS staff, Mr. Sipsey and Mr. Murray look out for students every day. They are here to help and here to make sure each student is safe.

After finalizing my poll percentages, responses, and interviews, I came to two main conclusions:

Firstly, Central Catholic High School does not have a massive bullying issue..

As you can tell from the poll, the majority of students agree. On the other hand, the idea that CCHS is perfect isn’t false. Students can be mean, just like in any school, and that isn’t an excuse for teenagers to harm others here.

One junior wrote, “I feel it’s very overlooked and even normalized, I’ll never fail to defend myself if I’m bullied. But, it’ll just get ignored even if I tell someone.” This shows how a lot of people may feel if they are experiencing a bully, that their concern will be ignored, but Mr. Sipsey and Mr. Murray want students to know that they will NOT be ignored.

The second conclusion I came to was that high school isn’t perfect. If it was perfect, the poll would have come back with 100% of students  agreeing that there wasn’t even a  trace of bullying at Central Catholic High School whatsoever.

That isn’t the truth though. The truth is, bullying is real here, kids can be mean, and sometimes advocating for yourself feels impossible.

One take away from these findings is that this reality isn’t forever. Or it doesn’t have to be. If you or someone else has an issue with bullying, TELL somebody. The staff here can help, and you won’t be ignored.

So, thank you, you who have stuck with this article until its end. I want to emphasize for about the hundredth time, that you are NOT alone. If you have a problem with bullying, or you’ve seen someone being bullied, please tell somebody.

And remember, things will get better, you will get stronger, and using your voice for the greater good is always worth it in the end.