04/26/10 — Bullying ... still: The problem is age-old, but the intensity and means are much worse.

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Bullying ... still: The problem is age-old, but the intensity and means are much worse.

It is nothing new, not really.

There have been bullies for generations -- that is part of going to school.

But what should scare any parent of any student in any school are the changing means, motive and opportunity that mark the sad stories coming out of schools (and outside them) these days.

And, just for the record, there is absolutely bullying going on in every school. There is no way for parents, teachers and others to categorically know the intricate relationships that exist between children these days. There are just too many ways to bully -- and too few children willing to tell anyone before it is too late.

So with that in mind, there is a real potential for tragedy in every battle between or among children.

The Goldsboro police are not going to take action against the adults who were featured in a confrontation involving some local middle school students. They say there was way more to the story than the video showed and that the adults were trying to stop the altercation.

But just because that controversy appears to be over does not mean that there is not a lesson to be learned from it.

Bullies are increasingly vicious and some are even potentially violent. Vigilance to stop potential problems before they start is essential to protect students. Zero tolerance and stiff punishment when there is an incidence of bullying identified are also critical.

Now is the time to amp up the effort to make sure teens are safe -- and that they have a place to turn for help.

Published in Editorials on April 26, 2010 10:32 AM