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Bullying is the use of force to get one's own way, typically for a selfish purpose at at the expense of others. Children in schools are often permitted (at least tacitly) to bully other, weaker children. This can take the form of teasing, hitting, extortion ("Give me your lunch money"), and so on.

Educators have been known to countenance the practice by saying that as kids grow up, they simply must learn to deal with bullies. [1] The implication is that they can learn this on their own, while academic subjects such as arithmetic and English must be learned from books and teachers.

It is commonly said that bullying is "simply part of growing up" or part of "the rough and tumble of childhood." [2]

  • Most students who are bullied either do not report the bullying to adults, or they wait a very long time before doing so. The reasons include feelings of shame, fear of retaliation for reporting, and fear that adults cannot or will not protect the victim in the settings where bullying usually takes place ...
  • Many teachers and parents tell children not to "tattle," and to resolve their problems themselves. [3]

Many academic approaches go out of their way to mention using any kind of adult force (let alone punishment) to stop bullies. One Canadian program is an exception:

If the bully(ies) will not change their behaviour, despite concerted efforts by school personnel, they, and not the victim, should be the ones who are removed from the class or school, or transferred to another program. Consequences for the perpetrators will be of considerable interest to all students, and will set the tone for future situations. [4]