The bullying behavior of some kids in some schools in some communities of our country has become a major issue of concern for many school and community leaders. Many school officials, teachers, parents, and other groups of people are discussing possible ways of dealing with this problem, particularly what should be done to the individual kids who persist in acting in violent and non-respective ways against other kids in their schools or even outside of their school environments.

Some bullies have been suspended from their schools. In other communities or schools they may be required to go to an “anger management” class or to get some special counseling from a school counselor or social worker. If the behavior is particularly violent and physical or a weapon has been used, the bully may have been charged with some criminal activity.

Violence as a solution to Bullying?

Such bullying behavior is not new. There was a bully present in my eighty grade class over 70 years ago. He often “acted out” whenever the teacher left the room, and he was sometimes pretty aggressive in his behavior with others on the playground. But he didn’t bother me after I once beat him in a wrestling match during one of our recess sessions. I lost track of him after we went on to different high schools, so I don’t know if he ever got some helpful guidance with his aggressive tendencies.

But I don’t believe that more violence, even if it subdues the bully, is the solution to this problem. And suspensions from school or even jail sentences will probably not cure the basic bullying tendencies once they have been accepted and put into practice by the growing kid.

I believe that children learn how to relate to other persons primarily in their homes. And these patterns of behavior and relationships are learned and practiced at very early ages as each child adjusts to the roles of his or her parents and siblings in the family group. And then such patterns of behavior and relationships are further practiced and refined as the social circles of the child expand and change as he or she continues to grow. There is no other available arena or “classroom” outside of the family for the early learning of how to relate to others. All other groups can only be arenas for practical reinforcement of such lessons or “therapy” to deal with their failures.

Surprised about bullying?

School officials and community leaders and even parents shouldn’t be surprised to see this growing problem of bullying among children when so much has been done to destroy or to hamper the civil and moral authority of parents over their children in their homes or to remove such authority from them completely, as for example in regard to sex education and the rights of pregnant children to have an abortion without the need for parental consent.

What needs to be happening in the homes of our nation to stop this trend of bullying behavior by so many of our children and youth? What good standards for social behavior and relationships need to be reintroduced and reinforced in our homes in order to begin to deal with the basic causes of this problem in our schools and communities? What should school and community officials be doing to help parents to correct the bullying behavior and disrespectful attitudes of some of their children? Let’s talk about this.

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