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Your Views: Kids should learn on their own how to handle bullies
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I would like to offer an opposing opinion to what seems to be the popular solution to the problem of bullying in schools today.

It seems in the last few years the subject of bullying in schools has been getting more attention in the media than ever before. There has not been a week go by in the last few months without a newspaper article or a spot on the local news about the problem of bullying in schools.

Each seems to have the same theme: Something must be done! School authorities must act, teachers must stop the bullies and law enforcement must act to save our children.

I am a product of the New York City public school system; bullies and tough guys were a way of life throughout my school career. I was always small for my age and did not have the advantage of size or weight to defend myself, but I managed to survive and thrive during my schools years by learning to manage the problem.

Sometimes I outsmarted them; sometimes I avoided them; sometimes I would befriend them; sometimes I would make friends with big kids or groups that could stand up to the bullies. The point being that I learned how to deal with the problem.

I seems to me we are "protecting" our children from so much these days that they will not be equipped to deal with any problems that life throws at them. If we don't start letting them solve some problems on their own they will not learn how to solve problems without someone there to solve it for them.

Bullies will always be among us; as we get older they take the form of liars, cheats, frauds and plain evil people trying to take advantage of honest people. Dealing with bullies during your school years gives you the experience to identify these people and form ways to deal with them.

I do not believe the direction society is taking today, the direction of letting someone else (government, teachers, lawyers, law enforcement) take care of all our problems is correct. Our society today, and in the future, will be a better place if each citizen starts to take more individual responsibility for the safety and well being of themselves and their families and not just rely on someone else to take care of them.

Learning to deal with bullies in school is a way to start learning how to do that.

Tom Vivelo
Flowery Branch


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