Reporter Remembers Being Bullied Before It Was a ‘Thing’

Interesting article today in the L.A. Watts Times by reporter Jennifer Bihm. As someone who was repeatedly bullied during high school in the 1980s, she writes about how her personal experiences predated the moment when this general topic became a “thing.”

She’s right. Ron Avi Astor, a professor of social work at USC, chimes in with the tragic, watershed moment that finally helped focus national media attention on the bullying issue:

“The United States really only started doing research on it [bullying] after the Columbine shootings,” he explained… Since then, he said, awareness of the problem has grown dramatically.

“If you go back to 1995 and say, ‘How many media stories were there on bullying,’ you won’t find any in the national media at all. For years it seemed like bullying didn’t exist. Of course it existed; it just wasn’t getting covered. After the Columbine shootings, bullying started getting covered every day…”

Bihm connected with a number of other people for her article including Parry Aftab, creator of StopCyberBullying.org. She notes that “people who aren’t tough can hide (and torment) online.” Too true.