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. (Read more bullying stories.)