Schools mirror the communities and societies in which they are located. And we know that young people learn most powerfully by emulating the adults in their lives. Children look to adults to glean clues on how to adapt themselves to the ‘real world’. As we all must.
So if that ‘real world’ is a place where adults have very little patience and compassion for one another, a place where corporate greed and ‘the bottom line’ trump respect for people and the environment, where political ambitions come at the expense of those who wield little influence, where so many of us fall prey to the ‘just world’ fallacy, and where self-interest, survival, and egotism trump the common good, then is it any wonder that children will imitate this behavior in schools?
If so much of how society functions sublimates down to the dehumanization, intimidation, exploitation, and victimization of the weak by the strong, how can we be surprised when our kids do the same thing to one another in schools?
They’re just trying to be like us.