A response from Carol Hubbard on her personal experience
Bullying is something very close to home (probably close to home for many of us). I was bullied to such a severe degree as a very young child that the word "bullying" merely sanitizes what was pure horror. Later (until the age of 13), I got into fist fights with neighborhood bullies who took after my (younger) brothers (and I always won because I would be so infuriated -- and I was surprisingly strong for a girl). I then was bullied during middle school (even by two teachers) in humiliating ways.
But I did it, too ... until I was 11, I also bullied several younger girls on occasion. It always made me feel sick to be the perpetrator ... but it took turning 11 (and suddenly becoming aware, when I woke up one morning, of a future stretching ahead of me, and choices to be made -- it's a moment burned in my memory) to make me realize that no matter how much rage, shame and "woundedness" I carried inside of me, I never again wanted to pick on those unable to fight back or speak up (that said, I'm all too aware of times when I lost my temper with my kids -- and I've apologized to them repeatedly for not being a more patient mother).
Bullies are afraid, and they don't feel loved. Those who are vulnerable or innocent or weak become "triggers" to those who have been bullied or abused -- they are living reminders of our own vulnerability (and, therefore, some degree of self-hatred). How does an individual or community move beyond bullying as a means of dealing with "problems"? By having the willingness to look at the ugliness (in what's happened to us or what we've done to others), to feel the feelings, and then the courage to choose to act otherwise. Better behavior starts with honesty, followed by conscious choices -- and the willingness to keep working at it until our behavior has changed.