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The trouble with bullying is that children are expected to put up with behavior that would, in a modern workplace, win harrassment suits from here until 2014. We tell our children that this is normal, they're to just ignore it, that kids are being kids. Sometimes we even go along with the bullying. Four of my little friends and I conceived a dislike for another girl at school and we quietly made her life hell until she told the teacher who caught us at it, and subsequently we were not particularly happy. I never pulled that one again.
Bullying can be stopped, if you catch it early enough. The Little Fayoumis had the distinct potential to be a bully. We knew this from his family history, so we were on the watch for it, and when it transpired that he'd bullied another kid in preschool, he was so grounded for a week. Of course, I don't know what he'll get up to when he's a teenager, but I'm hoping that he'll stay a decent human being, because we're training him to be that way at home. Spiderman's a better role model than Strongbad, and he does get to watch the Strongbad e-mails with the knowledge that Strongbad is a very, very bad role model for being polite and nice to other people. (Of course, he's also in danger of becoming the sort of whiny, sanctimonious prig that gets picked on and doesn't know why. We're working on that one too.)
Girls Just Want to be Mean is an article on some of the adolescent bullying that goes on with girls. I am happy in that I escaped most of this. I didn't really try to fit in with girls my own age. I stayed to myself, I had a few friends, I tried to stay out of the fights (and there were quite a few social group upheavals, especially in middle school) and I stayed in my books. In high school, I was mistaken for a senior during my freshman year.
I would say that probably some of the best things you can do for a kid who is not interested in fitting into the local child power structure would be to groom and arm the young person into adult manners and so forth. Kid's not interested in high school? See if you can't work a few college classes in. See if there are any friendly local or online interest groups who could mentor the kid. People like ataniell93 are known to take an interest in young people who have no problem interacting with adults, ones who have no real interest in interacting with high school society, and introduce them to some of the more interesting things out there. The trouble with young people who are ready to act like adults, though, is that they balk at being treated like children, even if they still legally are.
Does the adult world still have bullying? Of course it does. Some of it's very insidious. But it's easier to sue and point it out and have people listen to it as being a problem and do things about it and leave, rather than being locked into a school you hate with people who hate you.