Yes, I know I seem to be starting half the threads in this new education seciton, but my mom's a teacher and I'm a big believer in great education. Anyway, today's topic is bullies. Any of you who were ever in public school know this problem. For those who live under rocks, a bully is a particularly cruel person, usually under 18, who has some sort of power, usually physical, over another person or group of people, and who uses that power to make people miserable solely for the purpose of making them miserable. Anyway, here's the problems. Creating a Culture of Failure - Blacks aren't the only ones whose own culture villifies those who succeed. High school has long been a center of misery for those who will one day run corporate America. Throughout high school, little social groups form. This isn't necissarily bad, but it isn't necissarily good, either. On the one hand, it's perfectly natural for people to hang out with similar people. It also helps people to be more social. However, some social groups attempt to lord over others. Everyone's mind is immediately filled with images of the 'jocks,' or athletes, and their constant, physicaly bullying of academically inclined people, typically labeled 'geeks' or 'nerds.' As true as this is, it's even worse for the girls. Those in the 'in' crowd are often known to spread horrible, embarrassing rumors about girls they don't like, some so bad that the girl has to transfer schools to avoid long lasting, psychological damage. With the internet, this happens even faster. What this amounts to is this. The smart people, those who succeed in the areas that actually count in the real world, are in constant misery because of it. Because of this horrific reality, good grades are discouraged and many people are forced to decide between a miserable school life for succeeding and a miserable home life for failing. Bullies and their antics have even led to suicides and events such as Columbine. They are a blight upon society and a hinderance to the education problem. As both a victim and the son of a victim of constant schoolyard bullying, I feel this problem even more accutely than most. If We Ignore It, Will It Go Away? - Of course not, you dope. Bullies are not always attempting to provoke a reaction, and while turning the other cheek sometimes works, it will often just give you two sore cheeks. To avoid our lawsuit crazy society, many schools will often ignore the bully problem, claiming that they can't do anything about it unless they see it, personally. At least, that's what they say until threatened with a lawsuit. In fact, some schools have gone so far as to equally punish both people in a fight, regardless of circumstances. Some even go so far as to let off the person who swung first and only punish the person who, in the legal world, is justified by the self-defense statutes. Public schools have become a breeding ground for the primitive, apelike mentality of rule by strength and fear, and something has got to change before even more kids, like myself, are permanently scarred by the incident. As for me, I still have severe anger issues stemming from my time in public schools and my dealings with bullies, and I'm worried that they will someday get me in trouble.