How Not to Raise a Bully: The Early Roots of Empathy

State laws and school-district rules may help curb bullying on campus, but many researchers suggest a better way is not to raise a bully in the first place


In Athens, future leaders were brought up in a more nurturing and peaceful way, at home with their mothers and nurses, starting education in music and poetry at age 6. They became pioneers of democracy, art, theater and culture. “Just like we can train people to kill, the same is true with empathy. You can be taught to be a Spartan or an Athenian — and you can taught to be both,” says Teny Gross, executive director of the outreach group Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, R.I., and a former sergeant in the Israeli army

By Maia Szalavitz