A new article out this week on how teens perceive bullying in their lives:
"Bullying" Has Little Resonance with Teenagers
By Danah Boyd - November 15, 2010
The cultural logic underpinning bullying is far more complex than most adults realize. And technology is not radically changing what's happening; it's simply making what's happening far more visible. If we want to combat bullying, we need to start by understanding the underlying dynamics. And we need to approach interventions with an evaluation-based mindset. ... here's what makes bullying so difficult to address. So often, one person thinks that they're not at fault and that they're simply a victim of bullying. But those who are engaged in the bullying see it entirely differently. They blame the person and see what they're doing as retaliation. None of this is communicated, of course, so things can quickly spiral out of control without anyone really knowing where it all began.
I think the book Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia captures this beautifully, and heartbreakingly. Lack of empathy and a self-righteous sense of justification are a dangerous combination. I like to think that books and reading can be of help, but who is to say? But it can't hurt to try. Here are some bullying books for middle school kids.