Direct Bullying: Criminal Act or Mimicking What Has Been Learned?

By Garby, Lisa | Education, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Direct Bullying: Criminal Act or Mimicking What Has Been Learned?


Garby, Lisa, Education


The suicidal deaths of Phoebe Prince, Jon Carmichael, Jamey Rodemeyer, Eric Mohat, Kenneth Weishuhn, Jr. and Jessica Logan caught the nation's attention between the years 2007-2012. The common cause in all of these cases; each young person was bullied by their peers. Jon Carmichael endured being stripped, tied and placed upside down in a trash can as well as having his head placed in the toilet bowl as it was flushed numerous times; all because he was small in size. Phoebe Prince was followed, taunted, had cans thrown at her and harassed online; all because of a boy she dated. Jessica Logan was harassed relentlessly by hundreds of girls; all because an ex-boyfriend sent nude photos of her through his phone. In all of these cases, only Phoebe Prince's resulted in local authorities bringing charges against those involved. Should individuals who directly bully people be charged as criminals or are they victims as well?

When a person is subjected to physical violence such as kicking, slapping, and/or punching, or subjected to threats and name calling they are being directly bullied. (Carpenter & Ferguson, n.d., para. 1) If an adult uses physical violence or makes threats against another human being they can be charged by law with assault or battery of varying degrees. Assault is defined as threatening someone with harm while battery is the actual physical violence against a person ("Assault and battery," n.d., para.1). Even legislation includes bullying under the terms harassment or assault with 25 states defining bullying together with harassment and/or intimidation (as cited in Brubacher, Fondacaro, Brank, Brown & Miller, 2009). Using these definitions it seems the logical step would be to charge a child who directly bullies as a criminal.

Schools seem to be agreeing with this mindset. Recently all states except Montana have taken steps to enforce anti-bullying laws. Of these, eighteen states provide a means for the victim to seek legal ramifications and nine states mandate that schools report bullying incidents to the police (Toppo, 2012). In 2011 New Jersey passed what is being touted as the toughest anti-bullying law in the nation. The "Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights" requires students to be expelled or suspended, places responsibility on administrators and employees to report all incidences whether they occur in school or not or face discipline issues as drastic as losing their license, mandates a "school safety team" in all schools, requires superintendents to report detailed incidents to the state twice a year and the State Education Department posts grades on how each school is doing (Freidman, 2011). More and more zero tolerance laws are being enforced in schools, but what would that look like statistically?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently analyzed four federal surveys on bullying and created the report School Bullying: Extent of Legal Protections for Vulnerable Groups Needs to Be More Fully Assessed. Analysis of HBSC 2005/2006: Estimates of Youth Who Reported Being Bullied for Certain Types of Bullying Behaviors show that 31.5 % of students were made fun of, called mean names and/or teased; 13.1% were called mean names because of their race or color; 8.5% were called mean names because of their religion; and 12.8% were physically hurt or locked indoors (GOA, 2012). Based on these statistics, it seems that a large percentage of students in at least eighteen states would have a population of students in juvenile detention or jail.

Not all anti-bullying advocates believe this is the answer. While it is true that bullying is an issue, jail is not necessarily the answer nor is it necessarily the child who should be held responsible. Russlyn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights for the Department of Education believes that reporting bullying incidents to the police should really be thought out by school officials because of the harm it might bring to the school culture (as cited in Toppo, 2012). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Direct Bullying: Criminal Act or Mimicking What Has Been Learned?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.