Issue 54 • Week of January 29, 2023

It is Groundhog Day no longer. More American teens are starting to speak up on their own behalf after tiring of daily persecution from their peers or even teachers because bullying has been proven to be a real detriment to education, health, and mental well-being. Parents are fed up that anti-bullying laws, which as of 2015 finally exist in every state, have not stopped the predatory behavior they denounce.

Their problem is not unique. Bullying is present in every country and has been documented for centuries. Every primate species is guilty, too. However, humans' use of language makes our capacity to threaten and intimidate even more pernicious. The rise of cyberbullying over the past 15 years further allows perpetrators to harass others without repercussions in new ways that parents or teachers may not even understand.

These studies seem like they would point to a futile situation that vindicate toxic enablers who attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility. Yet admitting our faults is actually the best way to better humanity.

Can we really hope to change this toxic behavior?

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