Those efforts took on new meaning last Thursday following reports that a 14-year-old Taylorsville boy who shot himself in front of other students may have been bullied.
Bullying used to be considered a rite of passage through young adulthood, and adolescent peer hazing was accepted as a natural form of character building. Fortunately, that perception is falling by the wayside.
Bullies rely on a multitude of excuses to single out victims -- height (or lack of it), IQ (too much or too little), weight, gender identity, race, physical limitations, socio-economic status, or even fashion faux pas. Come to think of it, once bullying takes hold in a school, no one is safe. Furthermore, little bullies turn into big bullies and oftentimes continue their bad behavior in college and later on in their homes and workplaces.
Last week's death at Bennion Junior High School should have dispelled any doubt that bullying is still a serious issue. Hopefully the tragedy will inspire our local students to redouble their commitment to preventing anything like it from happening here. Students and faculty members in the North and South Summit school districts should encourage their students to get on board too.
To follow the Park City Anti Bullying Coalition's efforts log on to: http://www.facebook.com/ParkCityStandsTogetherAgainstBullying