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Reader's view: Standing up to bullies not always the best policy

I appreciated the April 22 letter, "Bullied kids should stand up to their tormentors," which brought back memories of when I was a child. I appreciated the writer's simplistic approach to turning bullies on their heels, but I would caution any yo...

I appreciated the April 22 letter, "Bullied kids should stand up to their tormentors," which brought back memories of when I was a child. I appreciated the writer's simplistic approach to turning bullies on their heels, but I would caution any youngster thinking this is a viable solution by today's standards.

When I was young, fights ended when one of the combatants backed off, hit the ground, or said, "I quit!" At that point there was mutual respect, and one sometimes even helped up an opponent before the two shook hands. Fast forward to present day and these rules no longer apply. Beatings are dealt out brutally, with no mercy now. Spectators join in, regardless of how they may outnumber an opponent. They don't step in to break things up, either. Weapons are now used, without regard to the damage they can do. And there is now no such thing as being down or, "I quit," to stop a beating.

Standing up to bullies is 1970's advice and will not work today where rules no longer exist.

My advice to anyone being bullied is to, first and foremost, talk to someone! Don't keep it to yourself. Discuss it with your parents and then school officials. If you feel you are not getting the proper response, push harder and go higher. Also, make an appointment to talk with school counselors; they are well-trained professionals who deal with these issues daily. You will not be the first one to ever bring this type of issue to them. They can and will help.

There will be a number of people who line up with the letter writer's advice, which I accept, but just remember our top priority needs to be protecting our children from bullies, not putting them in harm's way.

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Mike Patenaude

Duluth

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