Bullying has become a hot topic as increasing attention is called to its insidious nature and long-term impact. Teen suicides in the news in recent years have been consistent, poignant reminders that the harassment young people often suffer at the hands of their peers can make life so unbearable that some decide it's easier to stop living.
The Glen Cove School District is implementing regulations of New York State's Dignity for All Students Act, which codifies efforts to protect students from others who wield greater social power to reckless and harmful ends.
Not that bullying is limited to young people. It exists wherever a human being justifies consistent torment of another - in offices, fire and police departments, public places, institutions - there is nowhere that a lack of compassion won't make people susceptible. What would a society look like which is made up of adults who matured with a stronger sense of the value of treating all with dignity?
A person can grow out of touch with the issue as age brings wisdom, the tools for standing up for themself, or maybe just a narrower life without the forced exposure to large groups that school always felt like.
If you've ever been bullied, or your child has, or if you have any memories of watching it happen to someone else - or if you can look back on your own behavior and recognize youself as someone's bully - please share in the comments section.
What impact did you see it have?