Bullying: Anyone as a Perpetrator, Anyone as a Victim

As Roles Change and Expand, So Does Our Society’s Response to Acts of Bullying

There is no universal role assignment which defines who is a bully, and who is a victim.  Traditionally, students, peers of the same or similar age, come to mind as both the perpetrators and victims of bullying.  However, society’s understanding of bullying and these roles began to change when stories circulated with adults bullying other students on behalf of their own children.
There have been several other developments to our society’s understanding of school bullying and its effects; however, a recent video has made its away around the internet, again reminding us that bullies and targets no longer assume these traditional roles.  This video shows Karen Klein, a school bus monitor, being attacked by a slew of vicious verbal assaults perpetrated by students riding the bus.  There is no physical contact, but the words are outrageous, disrespectful, and hurtful, and our society has reacted.
The aftermath of this video highlights our society’s rejection of all acts of bullying.  This type of outreach and reaction appears to be part of a continuing recognition of the devastating effects that bullying has, as well as the duty that we, as a society, have to help victims and hold perpetrators accountable.  It seems that as the classes of victims and bullies broadens, so does our society’s repudiation of these acts, and that is a very good thing.
It would be great if these highlighted incidents  deterred future acts of bullying, but  unfortunately, it is more likely to take much more awareness and accountability… This is, however, certainly a step in the right direction.