A 'Bullying Crisis'? Come On
Nick Gillespie: American children have it better than ever
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2012 5:12 PM CDT
A button to oppose the nationwide "bullying crisis" ... if there is one.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – With the documentary Bully coming out this weekend and stories of online bullying increasingly common, we must be in the midst of a "bullying crisis"—right? "I don't see it," Nick Gillespie writes in the Wall Street Journal. "I also suspect that our fears about the ubiquity of bullying are just the latest in a long line of well-intentioned yet hyperbolic alarms about how awful it is to be a kid today." In fact, kids have it almost too good, he says—so overactive parents need something new to stress about.

But the fallout could be serious if laws like New Jersey's "Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights" impose new costs on schools and drain hundreds of hours of staff time, as some educators are saying. "Which isn't to say that there aren't kids who face terrible cases of bullying," Gillespie writes—but teasing and name-calling are a far cry from threats and physical violence. "We should make an effort to distinguish between the serious abuse suffered by the kids in 'Bully' and the sort of lower-level harassment" that can convince too many children they are "powerless victims." Click for the full column.

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
Apr 2, 2012 7:49 PM CDT
bullies are hurting inside, have you no sympathy?
Apr 2, 2012 3:10 PM CDT
A student killed 5 people in a school today. That never happened back in the day. SOMETHING'S not working right; if it's not bullying, then what?
Apr 2, 2012 8:39 AM CDT
Yes, bullying has always existed. Yes, there are parents who over indulge their children. But when I was in school ( and I was attacked by a kid with a switch blade in 9th grade) teachers were not afraid to stop bullying, or lay their hands on kids. I know in my children's school there is a great deal of bullying and no one gets punished for it. There is a zero tolerance of bullying which means administrators pretend it doesn't exist. I do think we are paying too much national attention to bullying and Mr. Gillespie's article is a reasonable outcome of that attention and well thought out. I think all of the points in his article can be addressed by allowing schools to address the problem, and that should include allowing to schools the police powers necessary create a safe learning environment. Give the teachers and the administrators the tools and responsibility and they will feel more like it is "their school". BTW the kid who tried to knife me was taken down by a teacher, and ended up in juvenile hall till he was 18.