The Des Moines Register has an interesting series going right now about the persistent problem of bullying in Iowa, partially stemming from the documentary "Bully" that came out this spring and featured the story of one Iowa boy who was repeatedly bullied while his school seemed to do little to stop it.
Iowa is, of course, not alone in struggling to figure out how to stop bullying in our schools. I grew up outside of Iowa and can vividly recall how much I hate junior high, mostly because of how mean the other girls were to me (and to each other. I don't think there was anyone who survived my junior high without being a target of a mean girl at some point).
As a parent, I worry about bullying, especially now that it can happen online. I plan to talk to my kids about not being bullies themselves, to limit their access to Facebook and sites like that until they are mature (read: not in junior high!) enough to make good decisions and to try to keep the communication lines open so they feel comfortable talking to me if they are being bullied. I hope that it will be enough.
Have you or your child ever been bullied? How do you talk to your kids about bullying?