Often times bullies have a low self-esteem. They look to cause fear and gain respect from the weak or those not likely to put up a fight. Nothing says you're more powerful than having other kids fear/respect you as much or more than they do adults.
Maybe the bully gets bullied at home or is following in the footsteps of his/her parents.
Many adults, teachers, and parents look at being bullied as being "a part of growing up" and learning how to deal with problems. Some simply tell the kid who is being bullied to "stand up for themself" They are too busy living their own lives that they don't take the time to empathize or listen to how fearful the child is. They don't consider that in today's society the bullies have more access to guns and knives. Bullies tend to pair up or form gangs while the "weak kids" who are attacked fly solo or hang out with other kids who lack the temperament to fight back.
They learn to live in fear, find alternative ways home, and run.
Like attracts like.
Many parents and adults are just out of touch.
They've forgotten what it was like to be a kid and wanting to be liked and accepted by their peers.
They've forgotten that kids don't have an "edit button" in their minds or behaviors. They'll say rude things without thinking.
With the advent of social network internet sites, YouTube, and text messaging bullies have more ways to terrorize kids then ever before 24/7!
Many adults don't take bullying seriously until a kid snaps and kills other kids that have been torturing him or he takes his/her own life. When a kid gets to that point they believe adults don't care about them and they're all alone.
(The reason kids are bullied at school is because they don't have a united front of parents, teachers, and coaches in their corner who have adopted a 0 tolerance policy.)
Not only is bullying an issue in schools so is sexual harassment and what could be called the onset of domestic violence between some teen couples. Crimes without fear of severe punishment are likely to get worse in schools.
No is keeping track of how many girls are felt up against their will, slapped, or threatned by boys their own age. Most girls in schools don't bother reporting it.(It's a sneak preview of their adult lives)
We should probably also remove the words "Tattletale" and "Snitch" from our vocabularies. Words like these put pressure on a kid to keep his/her pain to themself rather than reporting it.