By Nikki Stern
March 18, 2013
Bullying is all the rage; at any rate, we’re talking about it more. Has it gotten worse? And is there really any way to stop a bully?
Slate contributor Emily Bazelon has written the latest in a line of anti-bullying books and her agenda is fulsome: she wants to reform not only the way we deal with the victims but also the perpetrators, which goes to a veritable cultural revolution. Bazelon warns against labeling everything as bullying (sometimes kids disagree) while at the same time finding a way to make bullying “uncool”. Bystanders, she tells us, have a responsibility to help stop ongoing bullying.
Perhaps all these books on bullying (I counted at least half dozen others in the last six months) are addressing a problem made worse by looser rules, less moral or religious guidance, an overwhelmed educational system, and increased access to widespread communications systems (social media), which allows reputations to be ruined and resentments to be nurtured. Or maybe the new technology allows us to release our inner brute.
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Nikki Stern is the author of Hope in Small Doses, available from the Humanist Press in both print and ebook forms.