I was pleased to read this report. I'm working with kids with developmental disabilities atm (autism, aspergers, learning disabilities, physical disabilities etc.) Some kids have great experiences at school, and find their school friends supportive and protective. Others find themselves victims of the most shocking bullying. In such situations, we hope that parents and teachers are able to step in quickly and effectively to put a stop to it, but that doesn't always happen.
Not that long ago I had a conversation with a teacher in charge of supporting children with special educational needs which more or less went along with, "Well, kids get bullied, they've just got to learn to deal with it."
IMHO - the teacher was talking rubbish and doing an incredible disservice to her students, both those who are victims of bullying & to those who are doing the bullying. What kind of message does it send to our kids when we overlook bullying? It's ok to beat up on kids who are smaller, not as smart, not as socially-able than you? It's ok for people to make fun of you?
I was bullied at school (not for very long and not very seriously). My dad actually called my headmaster as I once came home extremely upset. The head handled it extremely well, took it seriously, and it stopped immediately. I can't imagine what I would have done if the head had said, "Well, teenage girls fall out and say horrible things about each other, she's just going to have to deal with it."
Bullying might be normal, but its not acceptable. None of us should under-estimate its impact or fail to take it seriously.