School Bullying: A Crisis or an Opportunity?
Full book published by New York: Routledge
In 1999, a U.S. Supreme Court justice asked lawyers for a young woman who had endured years of peer sexual harassment, “Is this just kids being kids?” (Stein, 2003). In doing so, the justice posed a question that is often applied to bullying. Many adults view ostracism, demeaning behavior, even physical assaults among young people to be normal or “growth experiences” for the victims. Yet considerable evidence indicates that bullying can deny young people basic edu-cational opportunities, as they attempt to escape daily harassment through truancy or dropping out (Slee, 1994), or develop maladaptive ways of coping with emotional trauma (e.g., Graham & Juvonen, 1998). Effects are not restricted to those actively bullied. Bystanders learn that aggression pays. They may experience a disturbing mix of feelings such as fear, pleasure, guilt, and moral confusion (O’Connell, Pepler, & Craig, 1999; Jeffrey, Miller, & Linn, 2001).