I'm sure I have blogged about this in the past, but the single thing that shocked me the most when I began teaching was how mean little girls were...and at what an early age. For two years I was subbing in 8 different elementary schools for K-6th grade. Those eight schools spanned the entire race, religion and socioeconomic spectrum. The worst as far as 'mean girls' bullying was the school in the most affluent area. Duel income, professional families and a string of 9 series Mercedes in the drop off queue. Those girls were brutal.
"Everyone but YOU got an invitation to my pool party. YOU can't come because EVERYONE thinks you're weird and that you dress weird. Crying won't help. It only makes you uglier." ~5 1/2 yr. old
True story folks. Kindergarten.
Since I don't remember this kind of thing happening in elementary school, I'm always interested in the dichotomy of this (seemingly) growing phenomenon...and was shocked to see what this article proposes as a possible cause:
"...Bullying, at least among girls, starts at a young age; whether this is new is a subject of debate among behavioral specialists.
Some believe that the popularity of shows such as “Gossip Girl’’ and the talk radio shout-fests that kids listen to from the back seat of the car have fanned the flames, which are spread face-to-face and through cyberspace.
“I think what’s different is how uninhibited it [bullying] has become. There’s just a real lack of empathy,’’ said Deborah Weaver, executive director of a self-defense and safety program for Boston girls, who has worked with more than 6,000 girls between 8 and 18..." (source)
Oh, and that school I was just telling you about...in the most liberal zip code in the school district...