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Exresident, some good points and I'd like to add a couple more thoughts.
When I worked a short while back as a contractor for a local school district they were searching for an established anti-bullying program - mind you this is a small district but the point being that they were trying and not letting it fall by the wayside. The program they eventually settled on was recommended due to it's published efficacy in several peer reviewed scientific articles. One aspect of the program I noticed is that it attempts to involved everyone - the bully, the victim, the parents, the school, student's peers - everyone and they work together to expose the root of the problem. My contract ended before the implementation of the program so I don't know how it worked out.
Bullying is a problem that is multifaceted in the trigger, maintenance and cessation of the beahavior of all involved - the bully, the victim, the school, the parents, the student peers and even the community. If anything can come from these tragic suicides it should be a community awareness of this type of behavior and that it is a community/social issue and not a "school/student, parent/student, school/parent" et cetera issue.
I was going to write a blog about the subject but it was too emotional for me. I remember as a child noticing which classmate was singled out for collective and accepted abuse. One year when I was in elementary school the "hate of the class," as I called it then, passed away and my nine year old brain rationalized it as "God took her back because she wasn't wanted here." So, the subject - even as an adult - makes me nine again... scared and sad. I remember after that I befriended bullied people which made me a target too. Still makes me shaky to think about it especially now that I'm a mom with children...
A thoughtful, well written blog, thanks!