I posted the following comments regarding bullying on the educational blog, “Get Schooled,” on January 23, 2013:

“(From the article:) ‘The problem, though, is the definition of ‘a crime of violence.’  ======================================================

(My response:) Bullying is abuse. The psychological effects of abuse and bullying can last a lifetime. I believe bullying should be considered a ‘crime of violence.’ When soldiers return from wartorn situations, maimed physically, we see the horrors of war in their mutilated faces, lost limbs, and mental loss due to brain damage. However, the psychological trauma some of these soldiers have sustained is not seen as readily by the public because it is not visual or tangibly seen, but this psychological trauma can be even more severe in some soldiers than physical trauma through their recurring nightmares, loss of concentration, loss of jobs and marriages. Likewise, the psychological results of bullying, though often not overtly seen, can have cruel psychological effects on the victims of bullying for the victim’s lifetime. This problem is a very serious one and must be stopped.

The legal definition of ‘acts of violence’ should include bullying. Victims of bullying should be allowed to know what steps have been taken by the school, in their specific cases, to stop the bully. That knowledge will not only make them more secure, it will take away their ‘victimized’ status in their own minds and empower them, again, psychologically. 

This being said, I do not believe publishing the names of bullies for public knowledge should be permitted, just as I do not believe publishing the names of students’ grades (or their IQ’s, etc.) should be published for public knowledge. This publicly published information can last a lifetime. People often do change their ways over the course of their lives, and the young should not be penalized for a lifetime because of who they were at 15.

However, school administrators can do a better job in stopping bullying. They can create school disciplinary rules that are more stringent toward bullies. They can make educating about bullying an educational and public policy priority. They can gather the support of students and parents to reject bullying and the bully. Most students and parents know who the bullies are, within their schools, without reading their names in published literature. Students can speak out against those who bully instead of remaining silent. Students can be educated to the fact that bullies are essentially small-minded people who are cowards. They can come to understand that bullies are insecure people who have low self-esteem and that bullies value power over kindness. Just as smoking cigarettes was once seen as ‘glamourous’ and ‘sexy’ because of the public’s perceptions through advertising in those years, today smoking is seen as the opposite of ‘sexy’ because more recent advertising has educated the public to the fact that smoking ruins health. This change in the perceptions of smoking has occurred, over the decades, because of the priorities placed upon educational and advertising campaigns to expose the negative effects smoking has on the body. Likewise, bullying can come to be seen for the destructive psychological abuse that it is, as well as for the long-term psychological harm it does to the bully and to the bully’s victims, through priority being placed on educational and advertising campaigns that expose bullying for what it is and bullies for the characteristics that they have.

Unfortunately, bullying also often occurs on public forums among adults, such as on public blogs. Although some adults may have the inner security and the strong autonomy to ignore or reject this bullying without permanent ill-effects upon them, other adults do not have these inner resources. Not only is this public bullying destructive and abusive (and it should be called out as such), it is a poor and destructive role model for our young to observe and emulate. The larger majority who post on public blogs, or who comment on Facebook, should call out bullies for who and what they are when they recognize their comments as bullying. Silence will not change this abuse. Exposing this darkness to the light of public exposure, will.”


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