An article in Between the Lines is about filmmaker Cevin (pronounced as a “K”) Soling and his new documentary The War on Kids about the pervasive bullying in our schools. As he filmed he began to understand a major part of the problem is the education system itself. It has to do with the way we've designed schools and that cannot be reformed.
All those programs to relieve and prevent bullying? They don't work and are wrong about the reasons for bullying. The It Get's Better project (I'm reading the book now) started by Dan Savage? Great idea, but telling kids it gets better later lets us off the hook about fixing the problem they're experiencing now. The targets aren't just the sexual minority kids. Banning bullying for being gay and the kids will be bullied for something else.
This is the problem: Going to school is compulsory. That makes the school autocratic. That deprives students of nearly all rights and of their voice. Students need to feel some sense of power over their own lives and when deprived of that they bully. And the worst bullies are teachers and administrators.