In an excellent article on NJ 101.5.com, Patrick Lavery poses this question: Will bullies back off when New Jersey kids go back to school? It’s interesting. People have been asking so many questions about what will change after this pandemic is over and we’ve had some time to readjust to life. “Will things change?” and “Will people change?” are the questions that you often hear.

So, will school bullies still bully? Probably. Change is difficult enough in grown-ups who have the emotional maturity and the self-awareness to really work on themselves. Change and growth usually does not happen passively. In the article, Patrick Lavery quotes Rutgers University psychology professor Maurice Elias saying, “It's possible that bullies could use the time away from a school environment to turn over a new leaf.” I don’t think so.

In fact all of this “holding it in” could possibly make it even worse. Remember, bullying comes from insecurity. People who bully want to cut others down to build themselves up. It’s possible that being cooped up at home has even increased their insecurities. Bullies have not lost their motivation to be meanies if the insecurity still exists.

The hardest people in the world to change are kids because they do not have the emotional maturity for really astute self awareness. And they don’t have the breadth of experience that gives humans the tools to change. Bullies usually stop being bullies because they grow out of it, not because they make any grand effort to change. So when kids get back to school, yes there may be a period of relative calm. But at the end of the day, when it comes to kids, bullies will be bullies.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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