This is one of the best descriptions of why bullying exists to a much greater extent in an educational environment as opposed to the professional world that I have read in quite a long time:
People often think bullying is a result of kids being kids. Its not. Its a direct result of placing them in the school system with its rules and authority apparatus. If you placed adults in an identical environment you would end up with bullying as well.
One of the main differences between school and the adult world is, in school if kids fight they will both be punished. You will often hear “I dont care who started it”.
In the adult world, whoever attacks is guilty of assault and the other person can defend themselves and will not be punished at all.
In the adult world, if someone is annoying you, you can get up and walk out. In school, you are essentially a prisoner.
Also, the school staff has to see with their own eyes an act of bullying. If a teacher sees a student punch another student, they will likely do something. If a student tells a teacher they were punched nothing will likely be done.
In the adult world, courts believe the testimony of victims.
Bullies are just kids who are using the system to their advantage. And thats only human nature. To stop bullying, what needs to change is the system so bullies are no longer rewarded and encouraged by it.
This was always my belief as I went through the public system and if you know me, you know how much I love the public school system.
I think the perspective one has to take is that you never ever start a fight but don’t be afraid of finishing one. That probably has a tendency to have some consequences but sometimes you have to let your kid take a stand while still trying to teach them violence isn’t always the answer.