While checking out Facebook, MySpace (for the first time in ages...did you know it's still up?), and job listings, I have CNN on, and they just did a human interest piece on bullying. I was bullied a few times in school...I responded through non-action. The whole "don't give them a reaction" thing works...sometimes. But I've seen it make things worse, too. In fact, a few bastards who tried to start shit with me, ended up being friendly with me later on.

The point of up and writing a blog post on the topic were a couple of comments made in the news piece: the government (which operates schools so they do have the need to pay attention) doesn't know how to define bullying. Is it physical, verbal, non-verbal, cyber...WTF?!?! All of the above jackass! The second point, some people believe it should be a crime. Yes. And blanketing bullying under harassment would then combine both points with one solution.

In the work place any of this would lead to termination if not litigation. If a bully treated a teacher in such a manner they would be expelled. If a teacher treated a child this way they would go to jail. Why is it then okay for children to treat other children with such disrespect? I think to legitimately disrespect someone, you should know and respect them first. Calling someone you don't know out over things you're ignorant of makes you a bigot, and in the real world, that is someone from South Carolina. No. I kid.

Bigotry is the worst natural response in humanity, and it exists and is prevalent the world over. If you take legal action in varying degrees (just as there are degrees of theft and murder) on bullying and you make schools as safe as any office environment*, I bet you'd see a significant drop in adult crime over the next 20 or so years.

I worry about bullying myself, for the A.N.T.'s sake. She'll be in middle-school next year. When I was in middle-school it was boys fighting and girls crying every.fucking.day. She's a sweet, friendly girl, fine in a group or by herself. But asshats exist in every niche and I would want to punch a 13-year-old in the face if she came home upset over a beating (physical or mental). I mean it. My rage to defend this girl's honor would send me to jail.

So yeah, bullying should be viewed no different than harassment and it should be viewed at all levels. Parents, teachers, administrators, and officials need to step up and be loud about it.

* I was going to say "as efficient as any office environment," but I started laughing for about twenty minutes.

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