Bullying worsens when leaders model and promote it | Opinion

By Stuart Green

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s announcement of new state and national initiatives addressing bullying deserves praise and support. Bullying is a problem for which leadership is a critical part of the solution. It increases when leadership does not address it and worsens when leaders model and promote it.

It is not a coincidence that bullying and bias crimes have increased since 2016, according to studies at the University of Virginia. Multiple studies suggest that bullying victimization is an adverse experience of childhood that contributes to many of the problems we experience as adults, from depression and anxiety to racism and xenophobia.

Bullying is a pattern of negative acts – physical, psychological or social – in which an imbalance of power makes it difficult for those repeatedly hurt to defend themselves. It is very common, with about 20% of all students victimized, year after year, according to a bi-annual

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