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Should Child's Mother Be Told About Bullying?
Q: My son is eight. He came home from school today and told me that his good friend is getting picked on by other kids who call him a wimp and a geek because he is quiet and non-confrontational. I know the boy's Mom. Do I tell her?
A: Would you want to be told if your son was being harassed or abused? Since I know the answer is ''yes,'' you have your answer. There's little reason to allow kids to be harassed or abused. If something similar was done to an employee in the workplace, there would be intervention. School should be no different. With kids, being protected is doubly important because they can otherwise develop coping methods that are counterproductive. A wisdom from nature applies: When the dominant do not protect the vulnerable, then the vulnerable seek to become dominant. Little wonder that so many of the boys who have acted violently at school had been picked on by other kids.
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Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.