Should Bullys be Prosecuted?
Yes
58.9% (189)
58.9% (189)
No
23.7% (76)
23.7% (76)
Not Sure
9% (29)
9% (29)
Other (Please Explain)
7.5% (24)
7.5% (24)
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Poll: Should Bullys be Prosecuted? (Poll)

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(Suicide is the leading cause of death in children 14 and 8% of all teens bullied try to commit Suicide)

With bullying/suicide ratio rising more and more in recent years I wonder how many of us think there should be more done to prevent it. As in make it illegal (and prosecutable) to bully someone. With so many other laws protecting people from harassment, bullying seems to be a natural next step. While many schools are doing their best to combat this threat it seems that when it comes to day to day life nothing is done.

I am no stranger to bullying, 10 years ago I remember coming home almost daily and crying in my bed. I would go to my parents and beg them to transfer me to a different school. But that was it. We had to dial in to the internet and it took 30 minutes to download one MP3. There was no facebook, hell there wasn't even myspace. Whatever crap I dealt with in school was over at the end of the day. Now days kids can't get away from bullying even after school unless they choose to live the secluded life of being internetless. Why should they make a choice like that.

It seems like when people get online they detach themselves and no longer see other people as living beings. There was one 15 year old girl who was bullied on facebook to the point where even after she killed herself people were posting horrible messages on her memorial page.

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/01/phoebe_prince_15_commits_suici.php

Just seems like this shouldn't happen. Something that is caused by an outside source, not by the victims choice, shouldn't be allowed to continue so leisurely. The question for my fellow Escapists are what are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas on how to curve this? Should bullies be prosecuted? Have you had a similar experience? If so I would love to hear your thoughts.

EDIT: A few people may think I am talking about simple bullying. I am not talking your momma jokes or four eyes comments. I'm talking hardcore hatred. Your a fag, your a whore, kill yourself no one cares, etc. Getting beaten up after school for your beliefs.

Maybe kids do need to get a thicker skin, but when you deal with the same insults day after day wouldn't it cut deep after a while?

By prosecuted, what do you mean here? A fine, juvy time? Also, you make the point that a bullied child/teen wouldn't be able to escape bullying unless they didn't have internet. Couldn't they just block anyone they didn't like? Or even better, not accept them as a friend in the first place? It's not compulsory to accept every friend request you get.

Bullying someone in to suicide is a form of murder, and those bullies should be punished. Emotionally traumatizing someone for LIFE is a crime, and should be punished. But, it all needs to be put in perspective. If the kid is fine in the end, and grows up to be a fine, young adult, then the punishment should be a fine or something.

Depends on bullying. If its a random "hey jerk go jump off a bridge" bullying then that guy really just needs to grow thicker skin. if its a constant buggering physical or psichological with intention of causing suicide then yes.

No, that's absurd. It sucks that some people are assholes but you can't make being a douchebag against the law. It's just not feasible.

manic_depressive13:
No, that's absurd. It sucks that some people are assholes but you can't make being a douchebag against the law. It's just not feasible.

why not, imagine Bush bin in jail instead of white house? wouldn't that serve to better humanity?

Yeah, lets shelter kids even more. I cannot see how that could be a bad idea.

Nope , i have no sympathy for anyone that doesn't seek help under any circumstance . I don't mean to sound like a jerk but, if someone won't help thenselves then i don't care what happens to them it's their own fault. People talk about bullies like they are some unstoppable force or something . There are many options you have when deig with bullies , ranging from talking to an adult to defending yourself .

Now about suicide in general , now one can make you commit suicide , if they could it wouldn't be called suicide. I truly believe that no matter the circumstance, once you willfully for any reason you harm youself causing death , it is no longer murder.

Now because i know the escapists hate to hae people that don't agree with their opinion i will get quoted , i'm telling you guys right now , i will not respond to quotes.

Tazzy da Devil:
By prosecuted, what do you mean here? A fine, juvy time? Also, you make the point that a bullied child/teen wouldn't be able to escape bullying unless they didn't have internet. Couldn't they just block anyone they didn't like? Or even better, not accept them as a friend in the first place? It's not compulsory to accept every friend request you get.

Juvy time and fined would be prosecution to me.

Also you can't prevent people from posting on other peoples pages about you and spreading rumors like wild fire.

PLEASE! Everyone in this post go and watch the Cine Noveau movie, Carnage. It'll hit home and render this whole discussion moot.

A lot of the methods used in bullying are already against the law (e.g. assault, harassment, slander, hate speech, inciting hatred) so I don't see why bullies can't be prosecuted under existing laws.

What does your concept of "prosecuting bullies" entail that isn't already covered by existing, long established laws?

Yes...though, as mentioned, in most places the sort of stuff you are talking about should be covered already in existing laws.

In that case, it's merely a matter of getting existing stuff to stick. Unfortunately, this is often seen as being massively unfair by people who aren't in the group the laws are failing to properly protect, and they'll fight tooth and nail to stop any progress in this area.

This wouldn't fly I don't imagine. How about give public schools the funding they need in the areas that need it so they have the funds to help their students? Most schools don't really have much of a functioning councilor... at least ones that students are made aware of.

krazykidd:
Nope , i have no sympathy for anyone that doesn't seek help under any circumstance . I don't mean to sound like a jerk but, if someone won't help thenselves then i don't care what happens to them it's their own fault. People talk about bullies like they are some unstoppable force or something . There are many options you have when deig with bullies , ranging from talking to an adult to defending yourself .

Now about suicide in general , now one can make you commit suicide , if they could it wouldn't be called suicide. I truly believe that no matter the circumstance, once you willfully for any reason you harm youself causing death , it is no longer murder.

Now because i know the escapists hate to hae people that don't agree with their opinion i will get quoted , i'm telling you guys right now , i will not respond to quotes.

I have to agree with this. People sending you messages isn't an excuse to go and off yourself, especially when you can just ignore, delete and move on.

If someones getting physical with another person there's already a word for that, and it's assault. You can defend yourself right away or prosecute them.

A vast majority of people who get made fun of don't go on to kill themselves,

I don't see why special protection should be offered to those who do. Yeah, it's the whole "Imbalanced hormones of a teenager" thing but that's still not an excuse.

Besides that, you'll have to define what you consider to be bullying, which could take any shape or form to the point where saying you don't like a band someone else does could be considered insulting and bullying.

Personally, I'd rather people are given the tools to deal with someone, like laughing in someones face if they call you a no-life having virgin nerd.

hmm....

First off, I don't think the situation should be allowed to get to the point where a kid feels they need to kill themselves to escape. Before it gets that bad, the administration needs to come down HARD on the bullies (talking about hardcore hatred "Go kill yourself you !@#$in fagballs, you're worthless, etc" kind of bullying that keeps going on and on and on all year). Teasing, and light mocking is...as much as I hate to say it, unavoidable. I'm not sure that can or should be punished. But constant demeaning and hateful put downs...yeah, that's not cool.

Oh, and if a bully or gang of them beats up another student, ties them up, or makes them fear for their safety, again you gotta come down hard on their asses. That's not accepted in adult society, so why should we let kids get away with it?

If that kind of reform actually happened, then I get the feeling there would be less suicides by bullied kids.

As to the prosecuting bullies that led to the victim killing themselves...I dunno. If they can PROVE that it was these bullies that were the primary and biggest cause for the person to off themselves, then yeah, they need to face some kind of legal penalty. I'm not sure what it should be, though. On one hand, it has to be serious enough for the kid to learn that this shit isn't acceptable in civilized society, but on the other hand you don't want to make it so that this bully can never turn his life around if he tries to change. It's a very tricky issue.

*was bullied a lot in high school. I STILL have mental issues stemming from a destroyed self-esteem 6 years later. Oh, sure, I have self esteem NOW, but I still have issues stemming from the time when it was destroyed*

BTW: I have no idea what to do about cyber bullying. I have never experienced it (thank God), so I don't know how bad it gets or how hard/easy it is to stop.

Depends on the bullying. Physically attacking or beating the shit in to them should have more consequences than being suspended, like the bully gives a crap he's missing out on a week or two of school or being thrown out all together.

The same can be applied to emotional bullying, not just calling someone a dick and that's that, but really ruining someone's education and life over it.

I had the shit kicked out me when I was younger; i got over it. The school system is ridiculous, we are constantly told to make children feel as though they are all perfect and special, all it does is make coming into adulthood one big trauma conga line when they realize that no, they are not special and there are about thirty thousand other brats who could fill their role in society.

A lot of bullying is already illegal.

Unfortunately, bullying is also a loose term that includes a whole lot of behaviors we shouldn't worry ourselves over near as much.

We should do whatever we can to discourage bullying. If not illegal, bullying should at least have its own punishments. And grow more severe, the more severe the bullying.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Yeah, lets shelter kids even more.

Protecting kids from bullying is a good idea. Bullying is still a pervasive problem in most of the world. In the United States, in Canada, in Mexico, in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Japan, in South Korea. Bullying is a HUGE problem. In fact bullying is one of the biggest problems in Japanese culture you often hear foreigners complaining about. There's no reason to suddenly "lighten up" about a problem that is still super huge.

There's sheltering children, but sheltering children is things like Conservative Christian parents trying to avoid their children seeing or hearing about anything sexual in nature, because that would "violate and harm them and steal their innocence", avoidance of them hearing about other religions, especially in a neutral, non-negative light. Avoidance of exposure to "politically inappropriate" subjects. Exposure to mature subjects and eventualities such as death. Exposure to politically or in any way controversial materials related to morals.

Being tough on bullying is nothing like those things, and NOT bullying. In fact, many people are both sheltered AND heavily bullied.

There are no clear distinction between those who harm others by conventional crime or by social alienation and harassment.

Qitz:

krazykidd:
Nope , i have no sympathy for anyone that doesn't seek help under any circumstance . I don't mean to sound like a jerk but, if someone won't help thenselves then i don't care what happens to them it's their own fault. People talk about bullies like they are some unstoppable force or something . There are many options you have when deig with bullies , ranging from talking to an adult to defending yourself .

Now about suicide in general , now one can make you commit suicide , if they could it wouldn't be called suicide. I truly believe that no matter the circumstance, once you willfully for any reason you harm youself causing death , it is no longer murder.

Now because i know the escapists hate to hae people that don't agree with their opinion i will get quoted , i'm telling you guys right now , i will not respond to quotes.

I have to agree with this. People sending you messages isn't an excuse to go and off yourself, especially when you can just ignore, delete and move on.

If someones getting physical with another person there's already a word for that, and it's assault. You can defend yourself right away or prosecute them.

A vast majority of people who get made fun of don't go on to kill themselves,

I don't see why special protection should be offered to those who do. Yeah, it's the whole "Imbalanced hormones of a teenager" thing but that's still not an excuse.

Besides that, you'll have to define what you consider to be bullying, which could take any shape or form to the point where saying you don't like a band someone else does could be considered insulting and bullying.

Personally, I'd rather people are given the tools to deal with someone, like laughing in someones face if they call you a no-life having virgin nerd.

I agree as well.

People would be better served if they just confronted their problems, not have another social safety net put into place to catch them.

People are douchebags in the real world, you need to learn how to deal with such people.

No. That's a dumb idea. Yeah try and get them in as much trouble for harassment as possible.
If that shit don't work then fight it out. You can't just prosecute someone because they're being a big ol' meanie-head to you.
I took a lot of crap from people growing up but I never would think of gettin' a lawyer 'cause someone told me "you're a fag lulz". If you think the things people do/say in high school are mean and rude wait until you get into the real world.

Absolutely not. I don't even feel like elaborating since there have been plenty that did it better than I would have.
Going back to the suicide statement, however.. I must say that anyone who commits suicide over something like bullying is pathetic and weak. I'm sorry if you know someone who couldn't handle life, but I'm afraid that's modernized natural selection at work. Since humans have evolved beyond the point where they need to survive in harsh circumstances, our evolution must be sought out in other ways. People who can't handle the hardships of teenage life would never have been able to handle adult life anyway, and they're doing the world a solid by offing themselves. Suicide has been glorified in today's society and I think that's horrible. If anything, our attitude towards suicide today is probably causing more people to do it, seeing as how they'll be portrayed as martyrs and heroes as soon as they do it.

You're not allowed to verbally harass adults, beat up adults, steal adults money or publically ridicule adults.

Why should the situation be any different for children? Why is bullying tolerated at all?

If "bullying" crosses the line and becomes harassment and assault yes they should, if its just teenagers calling other teens names no.

Strazdas:
Depends on bullying. If its a random "hey jerk go jump off a bridge" bullying then that guy really just needs to grow thicker skin.

I've never heard something on that level being called "bullying" before. Seriously.

orangeban:
You're not allowed to verbally harass adults, beat up adults, steal adults money or publically ridicule adults.

Why should the situation be any different for children? Why is bullying tolerated at all?

Because "boys will be boys" or something like that.

orangeban:
You're not allowed to verbally harass adults, beat up adults, steal adults money or publically ridicule adults.

Why should the situation be any different for children? Why is bullying tolerated at all?

This is also my opinion. Harassment, assault, theft...these things are illegal for adults...shouldn't be any different for kids.

No. As soon as we start prosecuting a new group of people, then that means innocent people will also get caught in it, especially with a concept as potentially amorphous as bullying. Two friends could be kidding around and then to merely stab the other in the back, somebody cries bully and sends some kid to jail. You think juvy is a place full of rainbows and sunshine? Yeah, we'll show all those bullies how to treat people. Send them to a place where they have to avoid being shivved and raped. That will make them function like normal human beings.

I'd say that most of the bullies I had to deal with in school (male bullies, anyways) had come from shitty and horrendous environments and that was where they learned to treat people the way that they did. So much of these bully thread reek of revenge and malice, often against particular 12 year olds who no longer exist. Deal with your own shit and don't take it out on others. And if you can, let it go.

I think many people in this thread are overestimating the judgment of children.

Yeah, you should know the drill by now. Giant wall of text below.

Learning to rise above bullies is far important than anything else

Harassment and assault are already against the law; I just feel it needs to be enforced.

Perhaps we need to drop this idiotic idea that everyone is an innocent flower who has no idea what they're doing and can get off on being a minor until age 18. I say let's start adult trial at, say, 14.

I'm not saying I didn't do stupid shit at 14, but I knew right from wrong and I knew the kind of stuff that would hurt people.

As much as kids killing themselves is a serious and disturbing issue, prosecuting bullies isn't an answer to this. As much as I'd like to say that I feel sympathy for these kids, it's hard for me to do so. I think this is because I was sort of in high school when the whole bullying thing started to ramp up (20 now, turning 21 in December), and I remember that I didn't get off light. I was made fun of and teased, but I got over it. I found ways to make fun of them and found friends who I could count on. When they tried to bring me down further, I either embraced things to the point that they no longer wanted to bother or I just ignored them, because I didn't need them. I don't accept arguments of "They can't escape online bullying though because they'll only be outcasted even further" because that is a flat out lie. The only way you could be cyber-bullied by people who give you shit at school would be if you willinging gave your information out and added them as friends on Facebook, at which point you're only really bringing on yourself. Besides, why care if you're outcasted even more by the people who make your life miserable? It's not as if they visit every single online community you visit, surely there must be at least one place where you can find solace.

Now, I'm not denying that bullying can't have consequences on someone. That said, I don't think prosecuting bullies will somehow serve to limit this. It will only create more anamosity amongst the bully and the victim, the bully giving less respect to the victim because they see them as weak for having to hide behind such a law. It will only bring more vicious acts. That's how bullies usually pick their targets, they don't go for the strong or sarcastic that can easily deflect their attempts, they go for the weak. This only strengthens that desire to bully, the victim seemingly more weak and therefore more fun to see suffer. I look back at previous generations and see how they deal with bullying, and I start to wonder if all these social safety nets we've created in order to "consol" rather than to "strengthen" the victims of bullying seem to only intensify the degree of bullying.

I don't have the answer as to how to stop all of this, but I can give some suggestions. For one thing, standing up to the bully. I don't mean standing up and telling the school to deal with them, I mean confronting them. Whether alone or with friends, the moment you take the initiative you send a sign that the bully isn't as strong as they think they are, that they may in fact be the weak one. It won't be easy, and it won't end there, but it's certainly a start. Hell, two of my close friends today were people who bullid me relentlessly in elementary school, and it only got worse when I resorted to weak defenses. When I stood up for myself and confronted them, I was given some respect, and that respect helped to form a friendship between us. If you're the type that just can't handle the confrontation, find solace in others. Just because you may not be popular at school doesn't mean there isn't someone out there who will accept you.

Bullying it self, no let schools and parents short that out.
Or teach your kids to fight back

Harassment and assault that comes from bullying, yes.

I think these articles do a better job on this topic than I do.

Gay Students

Cyber Bullying

More Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying causing suicide

If you don't feel like skimming these articles, then they essentially point out that bullying is not harmless, and sometimes there is no escape. When the teachers won't help you or even join in on it, what are you supposed to do? I'm not saying jail time should be a punishment, but I do think giving out fines, community service, and possibly time in Juvenile Detention for the worst offenders would be appropriate. In many places, it's already happening. One of the articles linked mentions a kid who lost his rights to use a computer for anything but school, though it was left to the parents to enforce the ban.

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