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History shows anyone can become a bully

A bully's ultimate goal is to make others feel as bad as they do.

Bullying dates back to before my parents' school days. I'm talking more than 80-plus years ago.

You would think after all these years, someone would have figured out a solution to bullying behavior.

My parents attended a one-room schoolhouse, which was also their church. As school children, they sang songs and played hide-and-seek and Ring Around the Rosie games with cousins and friends from down the road.

My mother shared that they had to deal with many issues of bullying behavior. There was one particular family member who would find a daily victim (including cousins) to torture on the way to and from school.

If she didn't have a reason to beat the living daylights out of her victim, she would create one.

The bullies of today have the same behavior traits as the bullies from my parents' era. Bullying often comes from having a troubled home life.

My cousin's parents died while she was in elementary school and she had to move in with my grandparents.

I can only imagine the pain she felt, dealing with such a loss at an early age. I know it was difficult for her and she was unhappy.

Bullying others may have been a way for her to vent those sad feelings. She was ruthless and targeted the smallest, tallest, smartest, boy or girl.

A bully's ultimate goal is to make others feel as bad as they do.

We know bullies can come from any background and anywhere: classmates or even buddies you thought were your friends, your siblings, church members, co-workers, your boss, teachers, your parents or your spouse.

Remember that bullying is not only physical and/or verbal but can also be emotional.

Emotional bullying can be even more devastating and stressful because ofthe World Wide Web.

Social media gives the bully a free pass to attack from across the globe. My cousin grew up to become a caring wife and mother of two boys who were killed as young adults.

My mother once asked her, 'Why were you so mean when we were in school?" My cousin replied, "I don't know, I guess that I was just unhappy."

Jacqueline Y. Smart (EdD '10 CAGS) is a middle school teacher employed with the Savannah-Chatham school system since 2000. She has earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College School of Education. She is the author of "What Makes A Bully?" Send your questions and comments to or