Words Can Hurt You
This guest post was written by teen writer Nona Hungate.
Whether it’s over social media or in person, words can have a serious effect on a person. They can lead to suicides, mental health issues, or people not feeling safe in their surroundings. Many people do not realize it, but one’s words can have just as much damage as one’s actions.
Take sexual harassment, for example. Most of it is done through crude comments about someone’s body. These comments may seem harmless, but can make the person on the receiving end feel awful, uncomfortable, and in danger.
Not only can one’s comments towards someone affect the victim, they can also damage the harasser. Sexual harassment allegations can be extremely serious, especially if made at school about a classmate. Schools take sexual harassment very seriously, so if there is any sign of it, many teachers will take any steps necessary to make it stop.
The school can conduct private interviews with anyone in the grade asking questions about the harassment. The harassment can go on the harasser’s school record. It can get students expelled or even arrested if it is serious enough which will also go on the harasser’s criminal record.
And although it may seem uncommon and an infrequent offense, it happens more likely than you’d expect. In some cases, simply saying things like “You’re so hot” or commenting on someone’s body whether it’s over text or in person can count as sexual harassment. I have heard many comments like that in my school and in other schools as well.
Overall, think about what you say to someone. A harmless comment about someone’s body may seem like not a big deal to you, but it can have damaging consequences for both the victim as well as the harasser.
Photo by Jason Rogers