Bullying has a simple operating concept. Logically, there has to an inferior for a superior to exist, because the superior has to have something to be superior to. Therefore, the key to becoming superior is to create an inferior. This is how bullying works.
The natural reaction to this is to try to become the superior when people try to make you into an inferior by escalating the violence, gossip, or talking others to join in isolation punishment (ignoring) until your dominance is clearly displayed to all. The problem with this natural reaction is that its fighting bullying with bullying.
The reason why fighting bullying with bullying is wrong is that it continues the circle of violence and is not taking the feelings of the person acting out (the bully) into account. Violence is the sound pain makes when it tries to regain control of its life. Any psychologist worth their pay check will sense the crying for attention that acting out is based in.
There is a massive potential that the bully is in as much pain as the people he or she is bullying either physically or verbally. In fact, the bully is most likely not starting the violence, but continuing violence by transferring it onto others in a form of crying for help.
All humans are interconnected, which is why a problem in part of society is all of society's problem. Humans only escalate violence by constantly acting and reacting in violence. To understand this fully we must understand what violence is.
Violence is the most basic form of control. The control is simple and logical "do what I say or I'll verbally, emotionally, or physically hurt you". The concept of violence is the most basic form of control we have. The ability to put others in pain and the control that comes with that is violence.
Violence is no more than control. Control is based in power, therefore, we need to understand power. Power is based the ability to influence people with or without their consent. This can be done with violence, money, or other means of mental or emotional control.
The difference between discipline and abuse can be found in how power is used. Authority is a person that uses power to correct a behavior which society has agreed can't exist (murder, stealing, cheating on tests, etc). Abuses start when power in of itself is the goal instead of a means to an end. This was talked about in my blog post "Addicted to Power".
This is both why concepts of authority and power are both needed and corrupt. Positions of power are suppose to protect us, but are still run by humans that are have the ability to become power hungry. For all have fallen short of the glory of God. Humans are both the creators and victims of the societies they create.
There is another way to deal with bullying at all levels of society. Dealing with bullying is not about retaliating or continuing the superiority/inferiority complex that drives violence, but about having enough respect for yourself, your ideas, and your emotions to not let others hurt you. It's not about pushing back, because we are all interconnected; it's about having enough respect for yourself to not let others push you down.