I saw it many years ago, between two boys who lived on my block. I knew both boys because all the kids played together. They were the same age as my daughter. One boy was a bully and the other was meek and mild, and nice. Everyone knew bully boy, and knew he was a bully. Everyone knew nice guy and knew what a sweet kid he was.
I don't know when it started exactly, but I know it went on for years. It probably started when both boys were in elementary school. It ended when they were in middle school. Bully boy made life miserable for many classmates, but nice guy was one of his favorite targets. Some times the bullying was verbal, some times it was physical. School got involved, to no avail. Police got involved, to some avail.
It ended when nice guy had endured enough, mustered up enough courage, and punched bully boy. [I would have loved to have been there to see it!] From what I heard, bully boy was stunned. From what I heard, other kids cheered... to themselves. Of course, there was a price to pay. Nice guy was suspended for a day or two, and the police were once again called in. But that was about it. Nice guy found something to be proud of and bully boy moved on to torment other kids. I don't know if it had much impact on bully boy, but it changed nice guy's life.
I also saw it when my daughter was in middle school, between some mean girls and herself. Girl bullying is a little different. It's more verbal and manipulation. Mean girls deserve that name, and a few other choice descriptive words. Danielle made it through middle school and chose to attend a different high school than her classmates. Those few short years had a profound impact on her, and her self-esteem. It was so hard, as a parent, to watch and try to fix. There wasn't much we could do.
Oprah did a show yesterday on bullying. It made me mad. It made me sad. It made me cry. Part of the show was about two boys who killed themselves because they felt so tortured and felt as though there was no way out from the constant bullying. There are real and tragic consequences to bullying. It is more common in the schools than you may want to think.
If you have a child in school - and it can happen all the way from elementary to high school, there's a good chance they have seen bullying first hand, if not been part of it in some way. Please don't turn a blind eye to this destructive behavior. If your child is being bullied, please don't tell them to just ignore the bully. That will solve nothing and life ends up being an ongoing nightmare for them. If you suspect your child has bullying tendencies, address it now.
There are many good web sites that talk about bullying, including cyber-bullying - which is growing and can be even more vicious, but I think this one does a good job of covering everything. Again, please don't turn a blind eye to this deep impacting issue. It's something we all should be concerned about.