So the story of Phoebe Prince has been an interesting one to say the least. It is sad that a young girl felt the need to take her own life, but I have been having a real hard time coming to grips with the fact that they are trying others for bullying her to death. I am not even saying that that isn't why she killed herself, but I can't help but see a place for abuse of this legislation.
First off what is bullying? I tried to google the legal definition in Massachusetts, but couldn't find any so this will have to do.
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
Let me put out a scenario for you right. Lets say that your teenage son doesn't get along with your neighbors teenage son. They go to the same school, but are fine there, its only when they are at home that its a problem. They like to call each other names and bluster about like young adults (boys) are prone to do.
Now lets say that the neighbor boy kills himself. Lets ASSUME for this scenario it was unrelated to what your son is doing. Obviously there is no way to prove that, but for a second lets assume. Now his family could say well your son bullied my son and now my son is dead therefore its your fault. Well in this assumption we know that this isn't the case.
Obviously thats just a thing that could happen, but in there is one very important factor...THERE IS NO WAY TO PROVE IT. Bullying doesn't equal suicide. And its not even considered negligence or anything like that. Maybe in this case it doesn't apply, but the thought needs to be put forth before it becomes a law. What about the first person who isn't nice to someone, but isn't the cause of their suicide...what about them?
By making legislation against bullying they are saying that its never ok to do anything that anyone doesn't like. Can you say the beginning of the end????...I can