The torment can be unbearable for victims. There have been cases of students threatening suicide, even carrying out the threats. Lives have been lost, and others have been scarred almost beyond healing.
Haverhill schools have adopted an anti-bullying policy, as have schools in other communities. They are right to do so. The policy includes requirements that teachers intervene in bullying and report it to school officials, plus other rules that take such harassment seriously. A good complement to the rules is a project such as the poster contest, which shows bullying through the eyes of children, some of them victims.
Haverhill School Superintendent James Scully sent a letter of congratulations to Micheala for her winning poster and the message behind it. She and other contest participants deserve a pat on the back from the entire community. The brave artistic work of those students is one way to bring bullying into the spotlight and fight it. All of us — school officials, parents and others — should be inspired by those young artists and do our parts to protect the emotions of young people.
Their very lives may depend upon it.