Dear Editor,
Bullying is the number one issue in American education. Affecting more than 72 percent of our school-aged youth everyday, bullies disrespect other people’s dignity, their personal property, and their personal beliefs.

A bully’s strong desire to control masks the severe emotional trauma beneath their aggressive behavior. Narcissistic and arrogant, bullies take little responsibility for their actions. They are susceptible to jealousy, social isolation, loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

In the early grades, their low self-esteem can lead to name calling, threats and physical fights. And, if unchecked by high school, bullying can lead to malicious gossip, cyber bullying, emotional disorders and even violent death.

Bullying is learned behavior. Where do bullies acquire these asocial behaviors?

Is it possible that insufficient bonding to family in early development is the initial stress that feeds unresolved resentment, anger and chronic fear? Is it possible that the lack of respect, honor and responsibility in our schools, communities and national media are signs of unresolved emotional trauma in society?

These are awesome times of record wealth and poverty. Corporate control over our personal choices and social decisions are enforcing bottom-line decisions on our youth and communities without respect to their dignity and sovereign rights.

With more than 55 percent of our nation’s annual budget allocated to war and less than four percent on education, it is time for a transformation. It is time to take responsibility for the trauma this imbalance creates and support our youth with the love and attention they deserve.

I am proud of our youth Occupying Wall Street, confronting the “bully” with their heartfelt presence. I am grateful for their “tribes” showing up to speak for all of us in spite of society’s negligence to feed them real food, give them real attention, and provided them with real information. I am inspired to transform.

Gloria Cooper
Mount Shasta