Readily A Parent A risky proposition

Christy Janes
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If media reports are to be believed, bullying is rampant in our nation.

From elementary to high school, kids are being subjected to gross abuse by their peers. What the media usually doesn’t focus on is the less headline-grabbing, but more common, smaller-scale daily bullying that takes place when a dominant child in the classroom decides he or she wants things his or her way, at the expense of other children.

Before the verbal and physical abuse, there is exclusion, like a hunter marking an animal within the herd before he looses the arrow.

And really, when you take 20-30 children and put them in a room five days a week for six hours a day, personalities will collide. Dominant personalities will likely hurt sensitive personalities and once weakness is shown…well, it’s just like the animal herd, isn’t it?

Such bullying often doesn’t ever cross the line to physical or verbal abuse, but stays as the insidious presence in the classroom, making some of the children feel as if they don’t belong within the group or cannot measure up to their peers in the estimation of the bully or dominant child.

And it’s not the kind of bullying teachers and parents can really see. There may be the occasional shove or name-calling, but when do you call it kids beings kids and when do you realize there’s a ringleader and a victim?

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