The news as of late has been full of stories of bullying in our nation. Several suicides have happened since school started. There have been candlelight vigils and now The Trevor Project has come to life. Celebrities are speaking out against this and sharing their own stories in experiencing the abuse. It’s good to see people speak out against this.
Recently, an article was written asking if bullying is scarier than terrorism. What needs to be asked is if bullying is terrorism? Could the two actually be compared? Both involve constant abuse of another person. Physical and emotional scars are left on the victims for life. Trauma exists in both cases. The only difference I see is that one involves children while the other involves adults. School yard abuse can very well be terrorism on a smaller scale.
People are taking this problem seriously now. However, we must continue to find ways to combat this problem. One thing we need to let go of is relying upon conflict resolution and peer mediation to completely take care of this problem. Yes, it is important to teach children to learn to work through problems and resolve them. However, when dealing with a bully it cannot be done. In mild cases peer mediation can work. At the same time, when dealing with a bully you are dealing with someone who is angry and learning to control those around them. In conflict resolution a person learns to take accountability for their actions. How can you do this with someone who refuses to look at their wrongdoing? Someone who is angry and learning manipulation getting control and what they want? In mild cases this may work but, this is what I believe is leading to a lot of these suicides. Do we try to reason and negotiate with a terrorist? No, of course not because you cannot reason with someone who is angry. Why do we expect these solutions to work with this problem?
If someone is a bully please refer them to a mental health center. There are issues there that normal mediation or resolution will not cure. We want a healthy society and these children are our future. However, sometimes this involves taking steps to ensure the person is healthy. It is certainly something to think about.