Shawn K. Woods, personal and professional development expert, talked to the Hoffman Estates Park District's 50+ Club for a lunch-and-learn session on bullying as part of the district's anti-bullying efforts.
"Bullying comes down to a lack of communication and a lack of self-esteem," said Woods. "It's an imbalance of power."
Bullying has no age or demographic boundaries, he said. One out of every five seniors are bullied every day; 10 percent to 20 percent of the bullying occurs by their peers.
"Seniors bully each other, and they bully the staff who are trying to serve them," he said.
Often, the reaction of authorities is to further the bullying by alienating or punishing the victim along with the bully.
"We have to stop punishing our victims," he said.
In 2012, the Hoffman Estates Park District adopted an anti-bullying policy that takes a zero-tolerance approach. For more information, visit heparks.org.