Bully Pulpit

Listen to your children. Show your concern. But in the end, you must teach them to be strong

Like that of most grownups, my memory of middle school is a scratchy mental filmstrip of tiny triumphs punctuated by gigantic humiliations--the vomiting-on-my-sneakers incident of 1972, for example. My school was one of those Machiavellian pyramids composed of jocks, cheerleaders, greasers, hoods, geeks--and an atomic-wedgie specialist nicknamed Buzz, who roamed the halls looking for victims. I was lucky, however. I had two older sisters--big, popular and vengeful teenage goddesses. Looking back, I'm sure they would have happily watched me dangle from a locker hook, but at the time I was able to navigate the bully-infested halls of junior high surrounded by...

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