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Sunday, January 11, 2004

Alert the media 

Study reveals bullies have high self esteem.

According a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News, "schoolyard bullies do not suffer from low self-esteem and are often popular and considered 'cool' by their classmates, according to a new UCLA study." This finding is, allegedly, "contrary to popular opinion."

What popular opinion would that be? The popular opinion that prevails among the education establishment? Apparently so, because "[u]nfortunately, most anti-bullying programs in schools are based on the concept that bullies pick on other kids because they have low self-esteem," said the author of the UCLA study.

Indeed, if the UCLA study is to be believed, the "popular opinion" perceived by the reporter is exactly wrong: "[Bullies] don't show any signs whatsoever of depression, loneliness or anxiety. They look even healthier than the socially adjusted kids who are not involved in the bullying."

I don't know anybody who has actual experience bullying or being bullied who believes that bullies have low self-esteem. The remarkable thing is that the reporter covering this story is aware of "popular opinion" to the contrary. We must run in different circles.

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