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Bullying facts: Sifting through the hype for a clear picture

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(Read caption) Bullying facts are often shrouded in hype. A "Back To School Bully Buster Bootcamp" run by Kyuki-Do Martial Arts in Huntley, Ill., drew a crowd of kids who were taught self-defense moves and how to stay calm in front of a bully, Aug. 2, 2012.

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Parents who sent their kids back to school this month have probably already heard a lot about bullying. Not necessarily because their children have encountered a bully, mind you, nor because school administrators suspect that Junior is a bully himself. 

No, they will have likely heard about bullying – and may have even read reports, signed pledges, watched awareness videos, and learned about new school rules  – because across the country “bullying” has become one the buzz-iest buzz words in education – maybe even in American public discourse overall. (Why else would the question of whether a teenage Mitt Romney was a bully become part of a presidential campaign? And the chair of the US House Foreign Relations Committee even recently called China a “bully” to its maritime neighbors. Take that, Beijing.)

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