Is there any justification for bullying? I came across this topic when I was reading the paper. Of course, bullying is unacceptable in most schools and communities, but is there any justifiable reason why one might bully in your opinion? In my opinion, there can be. I always like to consider two sides of the story. What if the kid being bullied was extremely mean and unkind to the rest of the school and was only receiving his own medicine?

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Theoretically, bullying gets people to conform to social norms. I guess it is justified if you consider people needing to conform. Learning not to be different could be advantageous to society and to the individual later on. Still, I don't buy it. Why should anyone suffer? Kids are cruel.
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I wonder if we can take this question and apply it to international situations like the current situation with Iran vs. The West. Iran will say that it is being bullied. The West does not want it to have nuclear capabilities.

Is the West justified in enforcing sanctions against Iran and engaging in economic bullying of Iran in order to maintain its best interests and attempt to increase the safety of its citizens? Many people would say yes, the West is justified. But others would say that the West's stature is harmed by acting pre-emptively and preventatively.

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No, there is no justification for bullying. In situations such as the scenario you suggest, there would be real physical, emotional and mental danger to someone who tried to cure a bully by giving him (or her) his/her own medicine in return. There are much more effective and safer methods of trying to teach a bully different ways of relating to people. As pohnpei397 suggests, an outright physical confrontation may be a last resort option, but continued bullying is never acceptable.

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There is never any justification for bullying, and we are only now just beginning to appreciate what a serious problem it is. For a long time, we thought of it as just part of growing up, but it goes far beyond that and is made even more serious by the fact that it is often connected to issues of race, gender, body type, sexual orientation, etc. The justifications offered in the original post suggest someone with emotional problems that perhaps needs friendship, not bullying.

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This depends on what you mean by "bullying" in the situation that you mention.  If people start harassing the bully simply to make him feel bad, then I agree with the previous posts and think that it is unacceptable.  However, I think it is completely legitimate to stand up to a bully, particularly one who is doing physical bullying, and get into a physical fight with them.

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Bullying is never right. Remember the old saying "two wrongs don't make a right." Just because someone is a bully doesn't mean they should be bullied. There are many other ways to handle such a situation. While there might be a reason that a person is mean to others, that doesn't mean that they are justified. It is always wrong to bully others. Perhaps the best way for adults to handle a bully is to discover the reason the bully is acting out. Often the bulky has low self esteem or there is some other reason they feel the need to be mean. Again, the reason doesn't make it okay, but if can find the reason you might be able to help stop the bullying.
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There's no reason to ever justify bullying, even if one bully is being bullied by another. This reminds me of a situation I faced in one of my middle school classrooms. I had both of the biggest 8th grade bullies--male and female--in the same class, and they both tried to exert their particular power over others in the classroom. So, I placed them side-by-side in their connecting desks. The girl soon discovered that she could have her way with the boy, since he displayed some chivalric behavior by refusing to hit her back. He was soon humiliated, since every time my back was turned she took advantage of him, much to the class's satisfaction. His bullying in the classroom ended, and the girl soon realized the reason I had put them together. I had a little talk with her, told her that the boy--deep down--had some gentlemanly qualities and wouldn't hit her back because she was a girl, and explained that I couldn't allow her to take advantage of him in the classroom. They soon became buddies, and I had no more problems with either of them--though I'm sure they returned to their old ways once outside my classroom.

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If someone is being a bully, then there are better ways to deal with that person than bullying them back.  Is it hard to resist the opportunity to "get them back"?  Sometimes, yes.  While doing it may feel good in the short term, it doesn't resolve the issue and can make matters worse in the long term.

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I don't think there is ever a situation where bullying is justified. Even in the scenario you give us, the rest of the school are sinking to the level of the bully by bullying him. Bullying is fundamentally wrong, and there is no situation in which it is acceptable. It is disturbing to think that using the same techniques as the bully could be thought to be OK.

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