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It was difficult to understand the complex social situations and unspoken rules that governed my schoolmates’ behavior. I was verbally abused, physically attacked and systematically excluded at Calistoga Elementary School and Calistoga Junior/Senior High School in Calistoga, Calif.
Lingering effects of bullying make it difficult to trust people and recognize potential friendships.
I frequently blog about bullying, especially about the importance of an entire school community uniting to support its targets. I also emphasize the importance of not blaming the victim for supposedly causing the abuse.
Recognizing, too, that bullying is a behavior that is not limited to childhood, I support policies that address harassment and bullying in professional and public spaces. It’s important to be on record that this behavior is unacceptable and that targets know where to go for help.
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