Anyone out there ever had to deal with bullying?  Dumb question.  Of course you have.  But did you ever think about getting revenge?  What did you think about doing?  Does getting revenge on a bully make you into a bully yourself, or are you just standing up for yourself?  I’m sure if you haven’t seen it you’ve at least seen the commercials for the ABC Family movie cyberbully.  ImageI liked the movie well enough, but in the end the way they get “control” back is by a big group of kids embarrassing one of the worst bullies in the middle of the cafeteria.  Is that just a form a bullying itself?  There are all kinds of videos out there now that flaunt kids beating up on their bullies, and while I’m right there with all the people cheering the kid on for standing up for themselves, by publishing the video aren’t you now just bullying the bully?

I’m writing a story right now and trying to address those issues in my own mind and on the page.  And what kind of revenge do you fantasize about when you do get bullied?  I’m sure plenty of people fantasize about beating that person up, or doing something else physically harmful, but what else?  What would be the perfect revenge?

In the book The Shadow Club and its sequel, The Shadow Club Rises, Neal Shusterman addresses how pulling revenge-based pranks can go oh so wrong.  But not all of the kids in these books are harassed by the people they’re seeking revenge on.  They’re all just second best to the first best kids in the school.  Second smartest, second fastest, second prettiest….

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At what point does revenge stop?  At what point does it go too far?  Are we getting even or simply giving in to our baser instincts?  What part of us is there that silently screams, “YES!” whenever we see a bully get their comeuppance?  Does the bully deserve our sympathy, or exactly what they get?  At what point does the bullied person become worse than the bullier?

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