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This great country of freedom and opportunity is facing a growing concern for school safety. I believe the major cause of school shootings is endless bullying. I was bullied and an outcast in the 1970s before the Columbine era. Those days, before cyberbullying, some students were armed with just penknives. There would be at least one fight a week and the teachers would have to break up the fight. The group mentality, especially in high school is to prove that you're the toughest or smartest and to eliminate anyone who is the weakest or dumbest.

The question begs, why do children bully? I'm sure there are many reasons, but let's be clear that bullying should not be tolerated. The old adage "boys will be boys" has to stop. One step in the right direction would be to incorporate into the educational curriculum a class, as early as preschool, in respect and toleration for differences in others as well as conflict resolution skills.

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My novel, "Enemy Self" is written in the perspective of how the "bully" behavior was created in the first place. Instead of writing a memoir of my grade school woes, I wrote a fictional piece. The high school bully switches bodies with her victim as a form of escapism from her own miserable life. The victim is forced to live life in the bully's reality. On many levels this book is a cross-genre: psychological thriller/new adult/drama/fantasy.

Laurie Cohen

Reisterstown

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