Saturday, October 22, 2011

States like New Jersey need to Implement Criminal Laws against Bullying

Talk to many parents today and they will say that they were bullied as a child and the best solution  for the child either is to suck it up or duke it out.  However the long ago days of bullying is nothing like the terrorizing psychological abuse and physical humiliation that  children endure in today's world. Yes there were incidents of torturous bullying when I was growing up but they were isolated and dealt with.  Because bullying is so rampant and involves  involving discriminatory matters, many school officials do not want to get involved. There is also the issue that many children hide their bullying from the parents, thus preventing the parents from intervening on the child's behalf.

Most schools do have grievance process in their district handbook.  If the parents were aware of the bullying the parent would follow the process up to the superintendent where an investigation would be conducted if the abuse was not stopped at the school level.  Parents also may have the right to a hearing on the school board level.  But if parents are not made aware then they cannot help their child. Unfortunately with the escalation of bullying and its effects on the child, parents need to get involved on the school level in order to protect their child.

It is no secret that the  suicides of youths and young adults  are being attributed to bullying. Kids cannot get away from the bullying.  Cyberbullying is everywhere.  Kids turn on their computer and hook into Facebook, My space, Twitter and other social media outlets where it is easy for bullies to brutalize their victims either through stalking or harassment.  Sure the bullies could potentially be committing crimes, the issue is, whether law enforcement or the State's Attorney want to prosecute these actions.  The bullies are smart and aware they can push their victim over the edge without consequences and that is why they do it.  The civil laws are not punitive.  Civil actions can take a long time and they mainly go after the school district.  But what about the bully?  He or She grows up to continue brutalizing victims.  That is why it is important to implement criminal laws pertaining to bullying like the State of New Jersey has done. 

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