Cracking down on bullies

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2010 11:19 PM GMT
    This is such a sad story, a young girl kills herself after years of tormenting by bullies. And now, the bullies are criminally charged.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/30/da_charges_9_teens_faults_school_officials_in_s_hadley_bullying_case/
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    Mar 30, 2010 11:31 PM GMT
    Bullying in most of the US is not a crime. And even where it is, courts usually refuse to convict, or reverse lower court decisions in favor of the bullying defendants.

    Indeed, for boys who do it, it's considered an enviable mark of manhood, to be admired. No convictions will come of this, or if they are initially, they will be overturned on appeal. Nor will school officials suffer in any way. This is the modern US, after all, where bullying is our tradition & right. We try to bully the rest of the world, so why would bullying girls in school be any different?
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
    In fact, lawyers and legal experts say that the DA actually has a case on this one. Don't be a moron - bulling is not a "right" of anyone. It isn't a sign of manhood. Times are different in schools from when you and I were being bullied. Quoting from salon.com:

    'Anti-bullying laws are already on the books in 41 states. In Massachusetts -- where last year an 11 year-old boy committed suicide after being picked on at school -- the Legislature has been pushing forward with Commonwealth Bill 483, which would prohibit "harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying in any public educational institution," including, significantly, any that might occur "through the use of data, telephone or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of any public educational institution."

    'The parts of the bill that would likely be most difficult to enforce are also the ones that hold the most promise to effect true change. The bill calls for better procedures for students and staff to report bullying to school administrations and law enforcement, and would require all schools -- including those at the elementary level -- to receive training for handling bullying and to file annual reports on how they're faring. Most intriguing of all, schools would "form bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives" and compile lists of "bullying and cyberbullying prevention resources, existing prevention programs, best practices, techniques and academic-based research." In other words, training kids to not torture each other would be a part of schoolwork.'
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 31, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
    I see that there is also a charge of statutory rape in this case
    Cases like this don't usually get convictions criminally as far as bullying goes but civil cases usually work better for the victim's families

    This is very sad because it is the type of bullying behavior that is usually aimed at gay kids
    These kids and their parents have to be held accountable
    I hope these kids get booted in their ass for all their worth
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:18 AM GMT
    There are two male ringleaders charged, aged 17 and 18, and both could face years in prison if convicted. If convicted, they will pay for their crimes, my guess is they will become "wives" of big brawny prison inmates.
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    GQjock saidCases like this don't usually get convictions criminally as far as bullying goes but civil cases usually work better for the victim's families

    Correct. No matter how many states nominally have anti-bullying laws (per comment of the previous post here), they are weak and not enforced. And Federal judges, mostly male Republicans since Bush, will reject them.

    So bullying will continue to be allowed in the US. It is our way of life, and it's not going to change. To imagine otherwise is Pollyanna thinking, not grounded in reality.

    I'm speaking facts, not fantasy. "Bullying prevention task forces" (again per the previous post) are totally laughable products of pure imagination. The US loves bullies, it always will, and nothing will reverse that. Not even "task forces" will change that. Gawd, what pansy planet does djdorchester come from? Certainly not this one.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 31, 2010 12:24 AM GMT
    Yes I totally understand where you're coming from but who the fuck told her ass to be on that site? like Duh people are ass hole esp when you can say shit anonymously (totally hope I spelled that right) Maybe I'm just used to people talking shit but it's really no big thing just ignore it and don't put yourself in that situation.
  • stevarino7

    Posts: 149

    Mar 31, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
    This story has been really big in Mass right now, all through out the news. And I have to say, it is really because of the media that it got the attention, which led to the in depth investigation and strong reaction towards those involved. So, though media can often be bad, in these cases (and the case of Matthew Shepard), it has been a key role in doing the right thing. I have a feeling the School Committee will feel the backlash from this is well. And though this is not a gay rights case, it will lead to more anti-bullying protection which will help a lot of gay targeted students.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Mar 31, 2010 1:17 AM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidYes I totally understand where you're coming from but who the fuck told her ass to be on that site? like Duh people are ass hole esp when you can say shit anonymously (totally hope I spelled that right) Maybe I'm just used to people talking shit but it's really no big thing just ignore it and don't put yourself in that situation.


    She was harassed at school primarily.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 31, 2010 5:57 AM GMT
    calibro said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidYes I totally understand where you're coming from but who the fuck told her ass to be on that site? like Duh people are ass hole esp when you can say shit anonymously (totally hope I spelled that right) Maybe I'm just used to people talking shit but it's really no big thing just ignore it and don't put yourself in that situation.


    She was harassed at school primarily.



    OH YEHA totally saw that fuck those kids I just thought she was being bullied online
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:27 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    GQjock saidCases like this don't usually get convictions criminally as far as bullying goes but civil cases usually work better for the victim's families

    Correct. No matter how many states nominally have anti-bullying laws (per comment of the previous post here), they are weak and not enforced. And Federal judges, mostly male Republicans since Bush, will reject them.

    So bullying will continue to be allowed in the US. It is our way of life, and it's not going to change. To imagine otherwise is Pollyanna thinking, not grounded in reality.

    I'm speaking facts, not fantasy. "Bullying prevention task forces" (again per the previous post) are totally laughable products of pure imagination. The US loves bullies, it always will, and nothing will reverse that. Not even "task forces" will change that. Gawd, what pansy planet does djdorchester come from? Certainly not this one.


    Thank god I'm not from your planet. It sounds like a horrible place to live.

    You can say the DA will have her work cut out for her. But find out what you're talking about before saying the kids will never be held accountable for harassing this girl until she took her own life.... read:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/31/district_attorney_faces_unique_challenges_in_bullying_case/
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:37 PM GMT
    As a kid who once was bullied to the point of contemplating suicide (mostly because my efforts to fight back got ME in trouble at school... and could have landed ME in jail), I felt very strongly about his issue, and I am personally glad to see justice being served, be it in civil court or with a criminal case.

    So glad that the internet was not a part of daily life when I was a teen.... I would have felt there was no safe harbor at all.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 31, 2010 12:53 PM GMT
    What happened to that girl was criminal, plain and simple. I for one am glad they are throwing the damned book at them.

    I was a little kid, did get picked on as many did. It was tough, but what I delt with was pretty normal... what we have heard about (as in the case here) isn't
    typical... way beyond. Time to raise hell as far as I'm concerned.
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    Mar 31, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidAs a kid who once was bullied to the point of contemplating suicide (mostly because my efforts to fight back got ME in trouble at school... and could have landed ME in jail), I felt very strongly about his issue, and I am personally glad to see justice being served, be it in civil court or with a criminal case.

    So glad that the internet was not a part of daily life when I was a teen.... I would have felt there was no safe harbor at all.


    Absolutely right. The internet has made it easier for bullies to stalk, harass, spread rumors, threaten other kids. There are many reasons why adults and laws have to get tougher on bullies, but the internet is reason alone. To red_vespa (who hasn't been in school for a half century) and others who think it's just part of life and it's fine, they are a part of the problem.

    Which is why vespa called me a pansy. It's amusing to watch him destroy his own character with posts like that.

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    Mar 31, 2010 4:03 PM GMT


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    Send them all up the river!
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    Bullying has got to be treated with a zero tolerance policy. I too was a victim of bullying and was hijacked every morning on the way to school (at age 9) and relieved of my lunch money. I was threatened not to tell anyone - so I was afraid to tell a teacher or parent. I sat through school hungry, and too afraid to go home after school. I actually asked teachers if I could stay and help them after classes, and hoped they'd drive me home. This went on for about 3 weeks. One day I refused to give up my money and was beat up. I barely could walk.......bloody legs that felt broken to me.

    End of story - - - my own grandfather taught me to box over Easter vacation - and gave me the confidence I'd been lacking. He encouraged me to fight the main bully next time he accosted me on the way to school. I was ready. I didn't want to have to fight, but it was the ONLY way to put a stop to this crap. Did I feel better afterward! I made my first punch count. I hit that bastard as though my life depended on it. I was never, ever bothered again. My stock went through the roof at school in little girls' eyes. (Now if we could have changed that to little BOYS' eyes, I've have really been happy!)

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    Mar 31, 2010 4:28 PM GMT
    They can't throw the book at them.....

    Simple as...there's no way to predict someones reaction. What pushed that girl to suicide goes on in every classroom all over the world. They can't unilaterally criminally punish everyone as "bullying" is not defined and something that cannot be defined cannot be declared a crime....

    Stalking, threatening and harassment may be and the girl could have pressed charges if she were alive but what are they going to do round up everyone that ever laughed at the girls expense and throw a bunch of kids in jail.

    A good attorney will point the finger at everyone, including the girl, say she was emotionally unstable and she won't be present to defend herself.

    The legal system is not about "throwing the book at" or "making an example of" it's about justice for all
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    MsclDrew saidThey can't throw the book at them.....

    Simple as...there's no way to predict someones reaction. What pushed that girl to suicide goes on in every classroom all over the world. They can't unilaterally criminally punish everyone as "bullying" is not defined and something that cannot be defined cannot be declared a crime....

    Stalking, threatening and harassment may be and the girl could have pressed charges if she were alive but what are they going to do round up everyone that ever laughed at the girls expense and throw a bunch of kids in jail.

    A good attorney will point the finger at everyone, including the girl, say she was emotionally unstable and she won't be present to defend herself.

    The legal system is not about "throwing the book at" or "making an example of" it's about justice for all


    Too late, they threw the book at them. Whether a jury convicts them is another story. But it is the responsibility of our justice system to protect the innocent... stalking, harassment, physical assault, threats of physical harm are not legal. Not for adults and not for kids. This was beyond laughing at the girl, Drew. Each case on its own merits... not all cases of bullying can or should be prosecuted. This one should be and is going to be.

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    Mar 31, 2010 4:44 PM GMT
    I think that the issues associated with bullying actually run far deeper.

    Bullying has been around for as long as people have.. I do think that our society is raising needier and needier kids with every generation. While what happened to this girl (and many other kids just like her, who haven't caught the attention of The Today Show) is awful, at the same time, it makes me wonder how we're raising a generation of such fragile and needy kids.

    Ultimately, I agree with those above who have stated that bullying will never go away. But I think the more important question is how important is strong parenting when it comes to raising kids who are self-confident and don't need (not want - need) constant validation and reassurance that they're super special, to the point that anything other than that validation will result in not only low self-esteem but, in extreme cases, suicide?

    Not saying the girl was at all to blame, but really.. kids who kill themselves because they are bullied by others would appear to lack the coping skills that a generation ago were far more prevalent. Where were the parents?
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:02 PM GMT
    badmikeyt saidI think that the issues associated with bullying actually run far deeper.

    Bullying has been around for as long as people have.. I do think that our society is raising needier and needier kids with every generation. While what happened to this girl (and many other kids just like her, who haven't caught the attention of The Today Show) is awful, at the same time, it makes me wonder how we're raising a generation of such fragile and needy kids.

    Ultimately, I agree with those above who have stated that bullying will never go away. But I think the more important question is how important is strong parenting when it comes to raising kids who are self-confident and don't need (not want - need) constant validation and reassurance that they're super special, to the point that anything other than that validation will result in not only low self-esteem but, in extreme cases, suicide?

    Not saying the girl was at all to blame, but really.. kids who kill themselves because they are bullied by others would appear to lack the coping skills that a generation ago were far more prevalent. Where were the parents?


    Where were the parents? Where were the teachers? Yea that's true and we can't forget that there were other failures in the case. But I'll say it again: it's the job of district attorneys to determine if a crime has been committed, who committed it, and whether there's enough evidence to prosecute. I believe this is both to punish those responsible and, yes, to set an example. That is, the threat of being punished for committing a crime is the best deterrent. Crimes were committed, and you can't brush them off as "kids being kids." These bullies crossed the line on several occasions (read the details of what they did).

    Bottom line: We can prosecute a driver who runs over a kid in a crosswalk. You can't let them go because the victim's parents failed to teach the kid to look both ways before crossing.
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:04 PM GMT
    Well, badmikeyt, many of us in our 50s were bullied very very badly. Worse, it was considered weak to talk about it.

    I posted a vid about what bullying does to people. It's chock full of info. These are kids; bullying scars them and those scars remain. It took a long, long time for me to finally overcome some pretty bad memories of what I suffered at the hands of the ignorant.

    -Doug
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    Mar 31, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    I agree that bullies should be punished, and more done to stop them. But what I will never, ever understand is why parents make their child or teenager go to school day after day knowing they are being victimized.

    Sad that tragedies like this can be prevented, and that parents CAN intervene and remove their child from school, temporarily or permanently. Yet very few ever do.

    My ex-LTR (we were together for 15 years) was seriously bullied as a kid. He still has scars (emotional) from that. Sad.