Bullying is not just a nationwide problem but a worldwide, social disease. It is an act characterized by repeated aggression by one person (the bully) towards another (the victim) with the intent to harm them physically or psychologically. It can occur among adults within the workplace and institutions such as prisons, but most prevalent and alarming is its occurrence among our children within schools.
Bullying is no laughing matter. It is behavior with significant consequences for both the bully and victim, but especially the latter. Researchers have identified it to be a significant cause of child depression and suicide, with the youngest recorded bullying-related suicide involving a 9-year-old child. This is due to the fact that it often goes undetected and the bully-victims live with constant fear of their aggressors, and shame for their helplessness. Such feelings can even lead to gruesome acts of violence committed by desperate victims such as the mass murder shooting of Columbine, Colorado in 1999.
Research has shown that everyone will experience school bullying in one form or another. Some say that bullying is a “part of growing up” and the pains inflicted by bullying make children stronger. That may have been true decades ago but today we see bullying take on more severe forms. In light of recent events, we must redefine our position regarding this social phenomenon and the limits to which we as a society will tolerate it.