A lot is being made this days about zero tolerance for bullies. Schools have developed specific policies on how to handle such students so as to provide a safe environment for all students to learn. I’ve heard many arguments on these policies, for and against the topic. Believe it or not there are people who believe that this is a necessary part of youth in order to strengthen the character of children when they are young. They believe this leads to preparedness of how to handle diversity as an adult.

Like most arguments there are two sides to every story. In a world that is growing increasingly aware of the emotional needs of our youth I find it important to understand just how detrimental bullying can be to some individuals. I found this article on bullying and felt it highlighted some of these points. (This complete article on bullying can be found on www.aamft.org)

What Is Bullying?

Every child has the right to feel safe at school and bullying destroys that sense of safety. It not only affects children while they are at school, but it often follows them home and invades their computers and cell phones. Bullying frequently places schools at odds with parents and parents in limbo with their children. Due to these factors, along with bullying being a hot topic throughout the media in the last few years, it is important to know exactly what is meant when the term bullying is used. There is not a simple answer, but the gist of it is this: bullying includes a set of behaviors that intentionally cause harm to another person. These behaviors occur because a person feels or is thought to be stronger than the other, and these behaviors are often repeated over time. There is usually some gain for the bully.

Bullying affects the children targeted by the bullying behaviors to parents, teachers, and communities that have to deal with the aftermath that these behaviors have on their community. It is much more than a student issue or a school issue; it is a community and society issue as well. The occurrence of bullying not only hinges upon personal choices by students and parents but also on the overall messages and lessons that a society sends to its young people. It is a systemic problem so a systemic solution is necessary. With all these factors involved in the problem of bullying, it makes sense that the proper response would be to address all of these areas: students, teachers, schools, parents, and communities. The best interventions are ones that involve all of these arenas. It takes cooperation on all levels to not only deal with specific instances of bullying, but also to create an atmosphere that suffocates bullying behavior and decreases it’s occurrence in schools and in the community.

– See more at: //newperspectivescounselingcenter.net/2012/05/08/dealing-with-bullies/#sthash.1rXQsLhp.dpuf