The ugly business of peer bullying has been accepted for far too long.
Recent history is replete with examples of harassment of a student who is "different" by classmates leading to suicide or serious injury. The psychological scars which students receive when called constant derogatory names or physically assaulted can last a lifetime. And for what? To allow certain students to be caught up in "Lord of the Flies" type shunning which allows students to take out aggressions and frustrations against a defenseless target?
At worst it leads to the type of twisted "loners" who mass murder at Columbine.
In the wake of an ugly, unaddressed incident at Corona del Mar High, my then-wife and a group of angry parents intervened. They addressed the issue head on instead of hiding it under the rug of ignorance. Creative approaches to promoting tolerance were tried. Challenge Day, which showed students what it felt like to be singled out and isolated, was especially successful. Different groups like the Anti-Defamation League were invited in to help restore a better human relations environment.