Saturday, June 18, 2016

School Bullying: Is It Really Human Behavior?

An Australian schoolchild, Taylor Sekhmet, has started an international petition to get her school to address the vicious bullying that she receives daily.

My response is: It's about bloody time.

In the school I attended, there was a student named S. who had a congenital abnormality. The other kids were vicious toward him. But because he was the one with the problem, the school attacked him rather than his tormentors.

Since then my school has taken a different course. They are now taking bullying seriously, and they are working with the students who are guilty of it to get them to stop. That does not help S., but it helps the current students.

The school should be a place of learning, not a place of torment. The claim that bullying makes kids stronger is patently untrue. According to USA Today (, school bullying affects people long after it has happened and in many cases scars them for life.

This causes – brain drain, reduction in functioning, mental health disorders, and other negative effects on society. Which means that it is in public interest to confront school bullying before it has these effects.

Bullying takes place across cultures, and there are some who see it as normal human behavior. By that standard so are theft, rape and murder; but we are not seeing people justifying such things. Quite simply, we have to be better than chimpanzees. Human beings are also capable of self-control and discretion. And it is this human behavior, not monkey behavior, that should be encouraged in adults and children alike.

The nation and the society benefit from children learning what they need to learn in school without being subjected to lifelong trauma. School should be safe for children to learn. The monkey dynamics that develop in some schools must be confronted as not worthy of being called human behavior. The better human qualities such as self-control, discretion and compassion should be supported. And the children must be taught and held to these better human qualities.


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