The school that I work at has finally started dealing with bullying. Apparently there have been a spew of teen suicides in the US caused by intolerable peer bullying. Of course, "kids are so cruel" is the easy write-off. Of course, children see, children do, is the less easy one.
It reminds me of the impression I had of the kids at the group homes my mom worked at. All these adults, social workers, therapists, police, teachers, etc., would hover over these "problem" children and try to find solutions to their drug habits, poor performance in school, violent behaviour, promiscuity, etc. But if you punch a child in the stomach for 12 years, can you really wonder where their stomach ulcer came from? It seemed so obvious. And yet so taboo.
And in Italy, it is survival of the fittest. Being victimized is the worst shame you can imagine. Blame the victim for not being able to stand up to it is the standard wisdom.
I hate to admit it, but I am no longer a pacifist. I used to be, before having kids. Now, I follow the wisdom of an interesting man/husband/father I met this summer, "Never hit. Always hit back."