So even with all the media about bullying, you never think "that could happen to my kid(s)" until it does. Bullying is a very real thing, and there are some out there that say "oh the bullied kid is just being oversensitive" or "weak" or "should learn to stand up for themselves" but that is not the case. Any child can be bullied, and going to an adult is not always an option because of peer pressure. What child wants to be labeled a "tattler" or worse?
In today's digital world, I think schools should offer an email address for students to send in reports of kids that are starting to harass them. This of course does not offer an immediate solution, but if it is a choice between it being reported later or not at all... Easy decision. If email is not available, maybe a box in the office for them to drop a note into, even if it is sent anonymously it is still a start and the school can have the accused child watched a little more to see if they are causing issues.
Really though, the process needs to start at home. Parents need to explain to their kids that if a child is being mean to them in any way, they should say something. Bullying does not always start hard. Sometimes they will test the water, see which kids they can get away with harassing, but if multiple students say "so-and-so has been saying negative things to me" or "has been taking things from me" or whatever they are doing, then the school will see this child is a problem and will deal with them. Or at least you hope they will.
Why am I going on about this you might ask? Well, it hit home. One of my children was bullied yesterday by another student that has been mean in the past. It got out of hand, but thankfully nobody was hurt. The school was notified and immediate action was taken. I was called by the vice-principal, the gym teacher (the incident happened in during physical education) as well as the athletic director. They let me know it was being dealt with, asked if I had questions or concerns and told me I can call them at any time. This is they way it should be! However, not all schools are this diligent so it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure the safety of your child. If a report is made about a bully and nothing is done, make calls. Your child's safety and well being is what is important.
I'm going to step off my soap box now, but I hope everyone that has read this takes something away from it.