Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New problem, same as the old problem

School bullying worthy of front-page news?

The root behavior is far from new, despite the spin today's Press story put on the subject — bullying in cyberspace is no just-happened phenomenon. Furthermore, mean people have been around since people have been, and it's especially poingant in childhood and adolescence. Newer forms of communication — Facebook, Twitter, et al — naturally would become conduits for such bullying.

The problems it creates aren't new, either. Self-loathing, creeping hostility, outright anger. And, if left to fester, it sometimes surfaces violently — sometimes toward self, sometimes toward others.

And that's why it earned top story honors today. Because bullying — which should be called what it is, cruelty and intimidation — is an insidious problem that occurs every day.

Will it ever be eradicated? No. But proactive programs like those at Tracy Unified, Jefferson and Lammersville school districts can improve the odds that Tracy or Mountain House won't be the next town to experience a "why didn't we see this coming" moment.

It's worth acknowledging that from time to time. Even on the front page.

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