Taking on the School Bullies

The subject of bullying has come up in the wake of some well-publicized suicides of gay teens. It is hardly a new problem. The pain caused by bullying doesn't go away. It's chronic, as many people who have been bullied can tell you. (These tragedies prompted one Fort Worth, TX councilman to publicly share his personal experiences with being bullied.)

Many Americans dismiss bullying as a childhood rite of passage, but it is now recognized as a form of aggression. Suicide is a rare and tragic response, but, short of that devastating outcome, bullying can also have long-lasting psychological effects for both the victims and the bullies.

In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised its policy statement about preventing youth violence to include, for the first time, information about how to recognize and address bullying.

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