Every school in the history of education has had bullies. I remember for me there was one in the 7th grade - it was a kid named Cody. At the time he was just big, a bit scary and did mean, stuff. But now that I'm an adult, I recognize that bullies are most often children who are facing some kind of difficulty and are coping with it (wrongly) through dominating others. Maybe it's a question of the powerless making others more powerless to make them selves better off. Maybe it's an inability to express the problem in an effective way and the problem manifests as aggressive tenancies. Whatever the (understandable) cause, bulling is never acceptable.
Even in a loving environment like the River Valley Waldorf school, there are bullies. There is one in Kyle's class. He's a normal sized child (smaller and lighter than K & O), but very aggressive, pushing, shoving, hitting, biting and attempting to incite other kids into doing the same. Heather often reports to me of his malfeasance on the front playground, but during morning drop off (which I do), I rarely see it. Today I saw it.
Now, it wasn't too dramatic, and in lots of places it's far far worse, but in principle, it's the same where ever you are. Unprovoked, this boy raised his fist against Kyle. He held Kyle by the shirt in his left hand, and raised his right hand behind his ear to slam his fist into Kyle's face.
Whether or not he would have done it, I don't know. And honestly, I am not sure that the boy even knows what he was doing. My gut told me that he'd seen it as a threat, but didn't know what the next step was. I could be wrong, but I hope not.
But here is the thing: Kyle didn't blink, budge or attempt to fight back. In effect he turned the other cheek. I suspect he knows he would hurt this kid if he went after him). Passive strength is how both boys handle this kid on a daily basis. I am so proud of that.
Before the kid could hit Kyle, Owen came over and they stood shoulder to shoulder in front of this child, locked together without aggression, without threat, but with a clear signal that said "I wouldn't try it if I were you."
While I was telling the kid that "we don't hit other people", K&O went over to the window, sat on the sill, shoulder to shoulder, an immovable 100 pounds of strength.