That would explain my situation . I was teased at prep school , but the real, nasty, verbal bullying started when I went to public school at 13. There were undoubtedly back then signs of what we now call either ASD or Asperger's . It's sad that 44 years on from when I was at school this is still a problem. It makes me wonder what's being done to tackle the problem.
Basically, the more the competitive ideology of 'might is right' is taught or programmed in the education system and curriculum ~ whilst also enforcing a 'grit your teeth and bare it' (social mask) that involves being otherwise and elsewhere than is actually the case ~ i.e. getting the grades and the career; the more 'individuality' becomes a crime, and the more punishment gets deemed as being acceptable by the abusers, who were or are coercively educated to be as such.
Education systems that encourage and facilitate the student's individuality, rather than threatening it, tends to have more productive and life enhancing outcomes.
Of course ~ Hostile Environmentalism guarantees the opposite.
In my opinion ethics should be a class in schools. If students were taught to discuss what is right and wrong and debate it in classes I think that would help. When what is right or wrong is only instructed to the students in a top-down manner from the headmaster and teachers they're more likely to rebel against any notion of being decent.
The classes should cover disability, race, belief systems, gender relations. I personally think this would be preferable to religious studies, as religion could be covered within ethics.
These are spoken about in school and children are encouraged to discuss why we should be accepting, it is covered in personal, social, health education (pshe) at least it is in our local schools, especially the primary we have also has speakers for the children to talk to from various different places, dementia friends, nspcc, scope as well as several disabled people discussing how things affect them.
I guess it's not enough, then. There needs to be more enforcement.
As an adult I've noticed people get charged with crimes for doing lesser things than bullies did in school. Perhaps the criminal age of responsibility should be lowered to 7.
I wouldn't want kids being sent to prison but perhaps realistically you have to admit since some children have parents or guardians who are hardened criminals or grossly negligent, it doesn't work to sweep the issue under the carpet and say "all will be okay, they're only kids".
One thing that I've thought might work is getting a social worker to live in the home of children who bully for a week or two to try to address the root causes of what's making them like that. Is it the parents/guardians? Poor diet? Some health or financial issues? It needs a lot more looking into.
I think that is not the way to go, social services are worse than the kids. The education needs to start at a preschool level, if the children learn there is nothing to bully at such a young age then they are less likely as they get older, they also pick up cues from teachers when they see kids being treated differently without understanding why it increases resentment.
My partner has a criminal record for violence (now spent) due in part we believe to his violent out bursts when people messed with his rigid thought processes. Should we have a social worker in the house?
I think maybe awareness and parenting courses should be given to parents but you do have to consider that most of these children will not behave like this at home and the parents probably have no idea what their children are thinking.
Early education does work when it is done correctly and continues, but when it stops or is done badly it opens the door for this. Unfortunately government doesn't give the schools the required funds to cover basic education so this slips through without being addressed.
Parenting courses, yes! I agree with that.