Star-Ledger: “N.J. is missing the basics on bullying”

by Walter Olson on March 28, 2013

Newark Star-Ledger editorial:

There’s a big difference between a normal kid who teases a fellow fourth-grader and a bona fide bully who does real harm.

But you wouldn’t know it from our state’s anti-bullying law. In the burst of indignation after Tyler Clementi’s suicide three years ago, we were determined to do something about bullying.

And we drafted a sloppy statute…. it’s ensnaring way too many kids.

[h/t Neal McCluskey]

{ 3 comments }

1 Melvin H. 03.28.13 at 5:40 pm

Ah, NOW they remember the Law of Unintended Consequences!
Maybe “there should be a law”: Any law resulting from a tragedy–murders, suicides, so-called “bullying”, kidnappings, etc. but NOT including natural disasters, etc.–must wait two calendar years from the day of the incident to be introduced in Congress or the state legislatures; it also can NOT be put in as a rider on other bills, nor put in as all or part of any Executive Orders or state-equivalent.

2 Robert 03.28.13 at 8:42 pm

Have you seen this NJ Bullying Case?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/04/19/11289813-42-million-settlement-for-student-paralyzed-by-bully?lite

Obviously, I feel very sorry for the plaintiff. But the school was between a rock and a hard place. Had they preemptively expelled the bully, they could have been sued, too.

I hope they got a huge settlement from the bully’s parents, but I doubt it. If NJ is like my state, parents have a liability limit for damages caused by their children. (Last time I checked it was $40,000.)

3 William Nuesslein 03.29.13 at 5:54 am

Thanks, Robert, for the link.
A punch in a gut is what killed the escape artist Houdini.

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