The Columbine school shooting caused the United States to ramp up the national discussion of school bullying and the hasty implementation of many new anti-bullying rules and zero-tolerance policies. Some of these policies have led to serious unintended consequences. In this timely book, Susan Eva Porter, a seasoned and licensed school professional, explains how our current bully language, school policies, and anti-bully activists are trying to address the problem of school bullying in ways that actually make problems worse. Some policies treat children as adults and adults as children. Unnecessary strife among all parties involved, and the impeded social development of the children involved, can be a byproduct of popular policies. Especially in middle-school years, children are in a stage of development that involves testing boundaries and learning to relate to others. They need to gain resilience that will enable them to function well as adults. Bullying is often addressed in ways that arrest the social development of both the bully and the victim. Porter, an expert in child development, sets a new standard for our understanding of America's approach to bullying, and how we can dramatically improve outcomes, in this easy-to-understand book. Bully Nation should be read by school administrators, counselors, policymakers, teachers, psychologists, and parents. It is a much needed analysis with common-sense solutions to one of our nation's most mis-addressed problems.
Susan Eva Porter, Ph.D., LCSW, has worked in schools for over 20 years, first as a teacher and clinician, then as a consultant and trustee, and now as an administrator. Her focus has been on establishing and supporting healthy school environments, working with adults to effect positive change within school systems, and supporting students and their parents. She is the author of Relating to Adolescents: Educators in a Teenage World and numerous articles about adolescence and school culture.