There’s quite a bit of talk currently about the movie “Bully”.
Bullying is something nearly everyone has experienced in life. For parents, it is heartbreaking when your child is the one being bullied. It’s difficult to know what to do….should you intervene or let them work it out for themselves? Should you say something to the bully’s parents, to the school principal, to your child’s friends? Repercussions are always in the back of our minds.
Bullying doesn’t end in childhood….in fact, it seems that it goes on lifelong for many people. For some, there’s the workplace bully. One the road, there’s the bully who honks and rides your tail. Even in senior housing, bullies will harass, yell or hit other residents.
Bullying or being bullied can have long term effects. For the bully, effects can be anywhere from living with guilt, having regrets, not learning how to handle things properly, having control issues and for some, acting on their aggression. For the bullied, long term effects can include depression, withdrawal, becoming a bully themselves, anxiety and sleep problems to name a few.
Over the past several years we have seen school shootings caused by those who were bullied coming back for retaliation. In 1999, two young men who were victims of bullying got their revenge in the massacre at Columbine High School. The following year after the incident, the Secret Service determined that two thirds of premeditated school shootings were by victims of bullying.
The 2007 Virginia Tech massacre is another example of a bullied young man who just couldn’t take it anymore. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18169776/)
The powder keg of hatred, anger and resentment that built up from being bullied caused them to explode. As parents, when we hear this kind of stories, we worry about our children going to school. That’s why is SO important to stop bullying NOW before it’s too late.
Good sources of information on bullying can be found at http://www.bullying.gov/.