The University of Utah held a conference on bullying this week at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Community Caring. You can read about it here. You might believe they addressed just school bullying. That is not so. Susan Swearer, a keynote speaker, noted, “This is not just a kid issue, it is not an adult issue. It is a community issue.” I concur with this completely.
Society, as a whole needs to change; adults need to set better examples. Values need to be adjusted and positive behavior needs to be rewarded. All too frequently this is not the case. We see it everywhere. Our politicians give us the most public display of bullying in the United States every election with all of the mudslinging.
I do have one concern with something Swearer said that I think might cause her words to have less power. She noted that the victims of bullying who commit suicide, “have a vulnerability” and she referred to bullying as “the tipping point.” I have a problem with this one. She seems to be giving the bullies an out for their mean behavior.
Swearer also made another good point that I have been trying to make; we need to stop vilifying the bully and realize that regular people are bullies too. We need to correct the bully’s behavior not become the bully. What do you think?