Fear of bullying has contributed to the massive cutbacks on "recess", the free-play periods designed into school days for over a century. By doing so, the thinking goes, time children spend together with minimal adult mediation of their interactions are reduced, limiting the opportunity for "bullying".
It should also be remembered that children have been increasingly forced to occupy "age ghettos" where their exposure to people one or two years younger or older than themselves has also been minimized. That trend was well underway many decades ago and it is clear that one of the motivations behind it was the desire to limit the corrupting influence of sexual initiation and opportunity between disparate age groups. Government schools have long been laboratories for social scientists and "educators" to try out their latest engineering theories. And we wonder why our educational system is so terrible?
Bullying is a very real issue that we should all insist needs to be addressed and is long overdue in being addressed. Children are demonstrably damaged by the process of bullying.
But that all begs the question: are government schools and the people in charge of those schools the best options to nurture and intellectually enrich children and to keep them safe?