Gratefully, I have not had any real problems with bullies this year. Of all my worries about my kids, I worry most about my kids being targeted by a bully. I hate the idea of a child being ridiculed or pushed around. Too many of my friends have told me stories about mean kids making other kids feel horrible every school day. My 8th grader says that bullying happens all the time. What scares me is that he is used to seeing it happen. Bullying shouldn't be a "normal" part of the school environment. Now groups of kids practice social bullying. There seems to be some kind of jockeying for power among these groups. It's very tough to be a kid today, routinely being evaluated and categorized. Bullying has always been part of childhood, but I think that it has never been as pervasive as it is now. It is also alarming to think of the level of cruelty and callousness that is starting to become more prevalent with some kids. What kind of adults will they turn into? There has to be some kind of intervention that can take place to stop this epidemic of bullying.
We have anti-bullying programs in our schools, but I think that most of those lessons fall on deaf ears when the bullies are in the audience. There are subtle, under the radar ways to belittle someone else. Being ignored can be very hurtful too. Many kids dread going to school. Emotionally, they are crippled from this daily bullying.
After reading many news stories of suicides resulting from bullying, it is clearly a serious problem that is affecting every community. If you get the chance, please read this article that calls parents to action. I feel compelled to do something. I don't know what I can do, but I have to try. Maybe I need to organize some kind of grassroots group among other concerned parents. I call this blog: My Voice, My View. I need to start exercising that voice for the children. Thank you for listening.