If you don't think this is a growing problem then your just being blind to the facts. Honestly I got bullied growing up but lets be real when we were kids you phoned your friends today kids facebook them, when they go online they are subjected to further harassment and threats. There is no sanctuary and the internet also only serves to expand lines of communication. Johny beat Billy up so bad that he pissed himself? Bam now the entire city knows, where before it likely would have never grown to that extent. If you think that bullying is a part of growing up than your just blind to the truth. Kids are increasingly more disrespectful, question authority more, are more violent and yet some how you think picking on the weak is the same as always? Don't be blind that fact that respect is not beaten into kids anymore has drastically effected adolescent behavior as a whole. There is a reason kids keep going to school with guns and offing themselves because of the net its because they are being pushed past the breaking point. I have been there, I actually went as far as putting the barrel of a loaded gun in my mouth as a kid because of the harassment I received and honestly your post saying its a regular part of child development absolutely disgusts me.
It might disgust you, but it is human and child nature and therefore that is how it is and isn't going to change now, or ever. Turn your facebook off, ignore people, or better yet, hope you are born with parents that teach you these things so that you can stand up for yourself.
bullying is part of social growth in younger humans, that is why it has been here thousands of years and is just as strong now with no sign of slowing even with all these anti bullying movies/campaings going on. It is part of learning social structure, dominance, confidence, the ability to stand up for yourself, and many other things.
Fault new-aged pussificated parents for not raising their kids to be tough enough to handle it or stand up for themselves, not a child's natural behavior.