Margot Russell:

Bullying is an important contributor to youth violence, including homicide and suicide. Case studies of the shooting at Colombine High School and other U.S. schools have suggested that bullying was a factor in many of the incidents. Recent statistics show that 1 out of 4 kids is bullied. Some are afraid to go to school, and 8% of them stay home out of fear.

The art of bullying is older than the tin pencil boxes we used to take to school, and the dismal failure of new awareness campaigns points to its continued strong hold in our classrooms and in our rather heartless society. We’ve come to accept bullying as a rite of passage in childhood. When gauging how enlightened a society is, one need only look at the way it treats its members. We live in a world that refuses to respect the differences amongst its peoples, where being “different” is punishable.