I thought I'd draw everyone's attention to a new item at the website of The Lady of Manners. She's added an article on a subject that concerns us all (her first lesson of 2011): Bullying."Of Dealing with Bullies"
As is all of her stuff, this is well worth a read, including the comments section.
There's just one thing that I would add (if I might be so presumptuous as to even suggest adding to anything written by the most gracious Lady of Manners):
The Lady of Manners wrote:Thing The Fourth: Violence. Sometimes (and oh, how the Lady of the Manners wishes it was a rare exception), bullying becomes physically violent. Which is assault, Snarklings. No matter how “mild” it may seem. Pushing, hair-pulling, knocking books out of someone’s arms? That is all assault, and is not to be tolerated...
Actually, in many cases you don't have to wait until someone physically lays hands on you to call it "assault." At least, in legal terms, "assault" can be the mere unlawful threat
to do someone bodily harm. Once someone physically lays hands on you, then that is termed "battery." (Reference: ExpertLaw.com
But that's really all just legalese. The word "assault," as the Lady of Manners used it, works too.
My point for bringing this up is this: If all school administrators were to accept that "assault" entails threatening behavior towards others, and not just physical harm, then there might be a clearer understanding in these schools as to what it takes to cross the line into bullying behavior. From what I'm hearing these days, it seems that a lot of schools don't do a whole lot until someone actually gets physically hurt.
And I agree with the Lady of Manners that assault is not to be tolerated.