Because the result of bullying is often "invisible," (mental and emotional harm vs. a visible scar) victims of bullying often suffer without help. It may be one student's word against another. The bullying may go unanswered, thus giving bullies a silent go-ahead to continue bullying. Victims may just be out of luck.
What if there is an anti-bullying policy in the school? If a school has an anti-bullying policy, that document must be enforced if bullying is to be taken seriously and eventually stop there. In my opinion, this process has to happen for the policy (and the institution) to have credibility. Teachers and administrators are the ones with power in these situations. They cannot shrug it off as "kids will be kids" any longer! Educators should be advocates for children and follow through with anti-bullying measures. Bullying is abuse and must be reported and dealt with as abuse.
* I ran across the Anti-Bullying Rules above in a high school women's restroom. A seemingly odd placement for such a placard, it caught me by surprise and I stopped to read it. If it were posted in the hall, I might have walked past it without even noticing...
Bonnie L. Frank
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