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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bullying, A crime?

School bullying is a sore subject that media has hyped up a lot recently. This is partly due recent bullying-related suicides coming to light, for example the Rutgers student who allegedly commited suicide due to cyber-bullying, the story of a teenage girl who killed herself in response to being bullyed by other schoolgirls, and the bullying-related suicide of 11-year old Kirk Smalley. It seems that some in the popular media seem to think that bullying is a crime and that the government should do something about it. Make it a crime. But should bullying really be a crime? If so, what is bullying... is it just physical, or also verbal? Is it local, or can one bully another from another side of the nation? Where is the line between bullying and playful jabs? The difference between bullying and legitimate criticism? Further, is bullying really to blame for youth suicides? I'm not so sure.

This is often how we view bullies.
Most of the time, people want to view Bullying as harassment whether physical, verbal or written, both legitimate or illegitimate. News flash: true physical harassment and illegitimate verbal and written harassment is already illegal. It is called violence and slander, respectively. Further, most people's view of harassment has become skewered over the years to the point that most believe that simply the lack of acceptance is a form of bullying. It is easy at some times to point out bullying. A child punches another child in the face. Bullying. A child tells another child to give him his lunch money. Bullying. A child calls another child gay, or retarded despite it not being true. Bullying. However, sometimes it is not so clear. A child does not allow another child to play with them. Bullying? A child does not want another child to be on their baseball team because he is too slow. Bullying? A child makes fun of another child because of mistake another child made. Bullying...?

I deny that a lot of the above examples can qualify. Bullying by those definitions has existed since the beginning of time. And recently, it seems to be used more and more as an excuse for youth suicide. Where does it end? If implemented, what abuses could the law allow? Already, bullys in the cases I listed in the first paragraph are facing charges over their involvement in their suicides, which is ridiculous. They did nothing illegal, except perhaps minor charges. In the first example, the roommate of the Rutgers student did not have the right to post his roommate's sexual encounter on the internet, but he should face charges for that, not charges related to his death. If a law is implemented, many more innocent students, children, could be targeted. The "offender" could become the victim. Children will be children, what if a child is severely punished for playing around with his buddy? It's ridiculous. Also taking the anti-bullying philosophy to the global scale makes it seem even more ridiculous. What if Brittney Spears claimed that a magazine is "bullying" her by posting uncomfortable information about her personal life, despite it being true? This is violating the amendment of free-speech. Slander does not include truth.

Who is to blame, really? Not the "bullies". After all, any bullies violating actual law, such as laws against physical harassment and slander can already be punished. The fault belongs to those whose job it is to protect and build the character and self esteem of the child, his parents (and this is not just limited to the parents of the victim either, but also the bullies themselves. Often, the bullies are the largest victims of all of poor parenting). It is the parents' responsibility to prepare their children for life in a somewhat-cruel world. It is their job to have them feel loved. And believe it or not, I believe that to most children, their parent's love is enough to sustain them. A lot of parents want to blame the schools, the bullies, the government for their failed parenting when the blame rests completely on their shoulders. Having a child is a huge responsibility. And the parents and mentors of the three above stories have failed in their responsibility. Period. I was bullyed throughout elementary and middle school... I was one of the least popular children at school but I never allowed it to lower my self-esteem or pride. I never once thought about hurting myself or others. Part, if not all of the reason is my parents and family doing a great job mentoring and building my character. You can't blame children being children. Bullying is not a crime.

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