Schools nowadays are full of anti-bullying campaigns and trying to teach kids to be nice to one another. While this may work sometimes, it fails miserably most of the time.
But why does it fail?
To answer this question, we should first try to understand the bully. In general, a bully is usually a person who is trying to hide and/or externalize personal perceived defects (such as issues at home or learning difficulties) by intimidating those around him, through threat of violence, to become more like him and less successful.
Schools nowadays teach students to see and understand the bully in this way: as a weak person trying to express himself in the only way he knows. However, when the victims do understand this ans try to approach it in the non-violent way by somehow bringing up this weakness to the bully, they end up getting beat up even worse. In such a case, even if the bully had never intended to actually use violence, he would be even more tempted to do so because his weakness is now threatened to be uncovered.
While it is important to teach bullying victims how to understand the bully, they should also be taught how to be tough. They need to be taught how to protect themselves if the need arises, and they also need to learn how to avoid putting themselves in vulnerable situations.
However, as things are now with schools trying to avoid violence, even in self defense, all they are doing is empowering the bully who may or may not be getting punished by the “authority” and weakening the victim who is forbidden from learning how to protect himself.
This is why we should not only teach our students restraint, but also self defense. Otherwise, they will grow up to be weak and broken adults. And we are seeing more and more of this in the new generation of young adults…