Case to watch re:bullying -- MASS charges 9 teens on teen suicide

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #1
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/us/30bully.html?hpw=&pagewanted=all

    I think this case and the findings will be interesting to watch, to understand the continuing development of managing school bullying and the legal ramifications of bullying behavior (this one doesn't have as much of a cyber-bullying emphasis, though, as some of the other recent memorable ones).

    Sounds like a tragic sequence of events...
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #3
    Agreed, bullying is a bad thing. Shame on the school for not taking steps to prevent this.
     
  4. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #4
    Shame

    Terrible shame. The worst part is the last paragraph. The teachers were aware.

    I remember teachers/administrators telling us that they legally assumed the role of parents/guardians during school hours.

    There is no excuse for this stuff happening
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    I believe that the increase in bullying with fatal results is a reflection of the fact that kids don't play anymore. They may have playdates, they may start T-ball or soccer or ballet at the age of three but it seems as though they are rarely given the chance to resolve things amongst themselves. So, once they're in school, it turns into a nightmare of mob behaviour.

    Unfortunately, bullying can be hard to detect and virtually impossible during the internet age to prevent. Schools should do more, but I think the only way it's going to happen is to force them to hire "bullying" officers. Either that, or let the little ankle biters start to work things out for themselves at an earlier age.
     
  6. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #6
    Teachers can oftentimes be powerless to do anything about bullying. Since most of the time, they don't actually see it firsthand.
     
  7. TechieJustin macrumors 6502

    TechieJustin

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    #7
    At my old high school, the kids who used to do the bullying are now teachers.
     
  8. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Just to play devil's advocate, if the rationale is that there is an opportunity to stop bullying on which the schools are failing to capitalize, isn't this an opportunity (like "zero tolerance" policies) for the school to throw up their hands and not deal with it, since the police will?

    That's an interesting point... there is a lot of research that says that kids in the US don't have the unstructured time that they used to. Although, clearly, they have plenty of time to hatch all these nefarious plots. And secondly, kids were being bullied and committed suicide because of it long, long ago -- decades and even centuries ago. The methods have changed, but the process itself happened. I'm not sure there is particular evidence that these kinds of things are "on the rise" vs. that they happened, but they were not as discussed, when you were a child or when your parents were children. That would lead me to wonder whether the structural changes that have happened over time are really likely to be to blame.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #9
    I agree. Schools can't completely prevent something like this from happening. But it seems like more could have been done to stop some of this from happening during school.
     
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Clearly, its awful that these kids were somehow able to bully this girl to the point where she committed suicide. It sounds like in this case, the school was partially to blame (along with the bullies themselves of course).

    However, this is the type of black and white case that sparks "zero tolerance" policies that make little sense. For example, a 8 year old going to jail for calling another child a "stupid head". It seems schools are unable to judge the level of seriousness of these situations on a case by case basis and over compensate with draconian punishments. Also, it has to be remembered that many students are mentally ill or clinicly depressed and would commit suicide regardless.
     
  11. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #11
    If, and only if, it occurred on school grounds under school supervision. Outside of that, it's fantastic if school is a positive influence, but that's where I'd draw the line.
     
  12. 184550 Guest

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    #12
    I completely agree, schools cannot be expected to police social networking sites or other forms of online social interactions that go on between students.

    However, as I understand from reading the CNN article, most of the bullying took place on school grounds, during school hours.
     
  13. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #13
    Ah. Fair enough, then.
     
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #14
    Agreed. The school is not in a position to police social websites, however, they certainly have an obligation to try and prevent this from happening during school hours.
     
  15. bobertoq macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    It's disgusting that many teachers witnessed the bullying and did nothing about it! I'm surprised there aren't laws that require teachers to prevent bullying.
     
  16. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #16
    I'm not excusing what the teachers allegedly did (or didn't) do, but I can understand why they might have been reluctant to get involved absent the lack of laws covering bullying.

    If a teacher attempted to discipline one of the bullies, there is a remarkably good chance that the bully's parents would sue the teacher and/or school system for harassment. It's happened for a lot less.
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #17
    Schools can send people to jail now? :confused:

    This is hypothetical.....right?
     
  18. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #18
    Hmmmm

    After rethinking this one, I think the kids are to blame wayyyy more than the school.

    I doubt these kids meant to drive the girl to suicide, but they should be expelled from the public school system.

    We need to do something about education to keep kids like these out of the schools.

    I believe that part of the problems facing our school systems are the kids that don't want to learn and would rather harass and bully sitting right by the kids that do want to learn.

    I have no idea how to fix this, but its unfair to blame the school system. Blame the kids, and the kids parents a little bit. The school system oversteps enough as it is, we don't need them thought-policing our children, too.
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #19
    The kids who did the bullying are ultimately responsible. That said, schools have an obligation to make schools as safe as possible. They can't stop everything, but it seems like they could have done more in this particular case.
     
  20. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #20
    Yup

    The "perpetrators" were all 16-18, and I think once you are that old you should be held accountable.

    However, I am surprised no one has put this spin on the issue yet:
    Isn't it the girls fault most of all? She did kill herself. These kids did not kill her.

    I realize that it is terrible and heartless, what these kids did and how they treated her, but isn't part of my 1st amendment right the right to make fun of you?

    I am not sure how much of this was done at school vs away from school, but I think it warrants some discussion?
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    Seems like they did more than just make fun of her, there is a statutory rape allegation in there....
     
  22. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #22
    Yes

    Yes, but one individual is guilty of that and should be punished to the full extent of the law. The physical harm and threats should also be punished.

    What about all the other kids just "taunting"? Can't they make fun of her for "hooking up with" the older guy anyways? Not that they should.

    I am interested to hear more about this as more details go public.
     
  23. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    The details of everything are sketchy, but what seems to have happened is that this freshman had sex with a senior boy, and at least some of the bullying started after that (with her being called a slut, etc). Presumably that senior's the person who's being charged with the statutory rape count, but it's not clear whether that was "part of" the bullying per se.
     
  24. TechieJustin macrumors 6502

    TechieJustin

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    #24
    The way I dealt with a bully in 7th grade was the best... I snuck up behind him and cracked him over the head with a brick. :D
    He needed three stitches and had a bald spot on his head where the cut was.

    Best part: he never messed with me again.
     
  25. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #25
    Wow, you realize you could have killed the kid right? :eek:

    Even with my mentality in 7th grade I'd never dream of doing that, then again I'm so much of a peace-nick that my name is nick.....:eek:
     

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