Well, you would know better than i how this applies to your local school. I do think, though, that it's too easy for adults to dismiss it as just a part of childhood. The callers to the CBC made it clear that when they were bullied, or when they were bullying, it wasn't just the ordinary childhood teasing and transitory strife.
of what Cyclo said, there was a terrible incident when i was in the eighth grade. I was obliged to sit in the classroom during the lunch hour recess writing an essay as a punishment for some eminently forgetable transgression. While i was sitting there, Alma came in.
Alma was the saddest case i've ever seen. In eighth grade, she was 16, almost 17 years old. The only reason she had made it that far by that age was that teachers had just started passing her on, and administration turned a blind eye. She wore the same dress everyday--and i mean that literally, the same dress every day of the school year, including winter when she must have been absolutely frozen. According to what i heard, sometimes the teachers would take her to the school nurse, strip her, wrap her in a blanket, and take her clothes to the training room in the gym to launder them, because otherwise it wouldn't get done. I doubt if she bathed any more often than once a month, if that often. She was barely articulate, and she was an obvious target for bullies, especially among smaller children from lower grades.
She came into the room with tears streaming down her face, because she had fallen and had cut her finger (i don't know if she had fallen or been pushed, but she just said she fell down). The teacher, a total bitch, began to ridicule and taunt her. I had an epiphany then, and realized that her life was completely devoid of any love, of the least shred of affection, and this little cut loomed in her narrow little world as a terrible disaster. I suspected then that she simply hoped to be taken to the school nurse, whom she adored, and who would have provided her some small measure of affection.
The teacher turned to me and said: "You know, i think she actually understands that we're talking about her." I was enraged. I slammed my notebook closed and told her: "Don't include me in this, i wasn't talking about her." Then i picked up my books and walked out of the room. Nothing was ever said to me, and the "punishment" was forgotten. I suspect the teacher would not have wanted to explain the circumstances because if she had taken me to the superintendant, i'd have been able to explain what happened, unlike poor Alma.
Some of the worst, most vicious bullies i saw as a child were the teachers, and precious few of them seem, in retrospect, to have been normal, well-adjusted adults.