Intervene on behalf of bullied student

Exactly what triggered Friday’s murderous rampage by Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, at his school in Santa Fe, Texas, has not been determined. But this week, his father speculated the boy may have been bullied in school.

School officials say they have investigated allegations Pagourtzis was bullied by teachers or coaches, and found them to be without foundation. But what about bullying by other students?

A substantial number of killings by students and those not long out of school are blamed on an “outsider” mentality by the murderers. Sometimes they have been bullied. Sometimes they simply have been shunned. Even imagined slights can trigger violence.

It can require quite a bit of courage to stand up for a victim of bullying — or against a bully or a crowd of them.

But it can make an enormous difference in the life of a child who, backed up against a wall, suddenly finds he or she has a friend.

And beyond any doubt, taking a stand against bullying can have far-reaching ramifications. How many school shootings would have been prevented had someone just said “no” to bullying at just the right time?

Finally, there is another reason to do battle against those who would harm a fellow student physically and/or emotionally. We suspect that is why most young people who show the courage to go to the aid of those being bullied do their good deeds: It’s just the right thing to do.