At first glance, the subject of bullying in schools may not seem like a political topic. When you sit and think of the ramifications that such unchecked aggression can produce, however, one quickly comes to realize that this sort of behavior in a place where children are supposed to be safe is one of the most political topics of all. Bullying essentially targets those who have the weakest voices in the country – children – and puts them at risk for long-term mental trauma and even serious physical harm.
When parents send their children to school, they expect them to be protected. In the United States, we are required by law to educate our children and for many, the only option is public schooling. Since parents can’t be there to watch over their young, it is in the hands of the underpaid and undervalued teachers and staff of the school to make sure they play the role of guards in this microcosm of a prison.
Calling a school a prison might seem harsh, but many schools are little more than forced education camps for kids. Gates surround more than a few schools today, both to keep
the unwanted out and to prevent children from escaping (AKA ditching). There are even schools where children must use the public toilets without the benefit of a stall door, because those in charge have decided that a closed stall is too big of a drug-use risk.
But to get back to the subject at hand, the process of bullying is an act of aggression, plain and simple. Smaller or more timid children often dread going to school as the most stressful part of their day. While they should be going there to learn, they spend most of their time trying not to cry in front of the other kids while bullies demean them verbally or beat them when no one is around to see.
In the end, these sorts of violent acts can lead to potentially dangerous mental breakdowns that result in the school shootings that one sees on the news every now-and-then. It is no wonder that these young minds snap when they are subjected to hours upon hours of torture without the benefit of protection. If justice is to take hold anywhere in the U.S., it needs to begin in the schools, so that those who think they can exercise their superior power to harm others will realize that is not the case. Perhaps then we will have more tolerant police officers and a more peaceful society in general.