Girl Bullying is a good book.
Some may question why this singular view on bullying is necessary in an age of "equality of opportunity" and "equal rights"? The book goes straight to the heart of the matter: girls practice and rehearse social relationships with an intensity unmatched by your average boy. Personal and intimate information exchanged "in confidence" and "in friendship" can then become a weapon more brutal than a fist or a hammer.
The author also develops compelling imagery of girl-on-girl bullying through the enrolment of others as akin to how a wolf pack operates. This may seem extreme; in my opinion, it needs to be said. Bullying is personally experienced and personally wounding. The psychological damage profound, life-lasting and life-changing.
The author goes on to explore the impact of bullying when "manipulation of friendship" seeps into cyberspace. The number of young females taking their lives because of cyber-bullying is increasing: we must develop a sharper and more nuanced view of the problem before we work towards effective solutions.
The book does a good job in this respect. A call for the modelling of pro-social behaviours, building a school or college community with built-in reporting structures, proactive peer support, victim support and developing an ethos that breaks the code of silence are all sound anti-bullying strategies.
I also agree wholeheartedly with the moral imperative that runs through this book: some schools are frightened to exert their influence and authority beyond the classroom, the playground or the school gate. It is time for courageous open leadership to reduce the impact and incidence of bullying on a well-being, life-course and achievement of young people. This book will help.