Now that we've opened up the definition of bullying to include a lot of different things and increased its importance, we've opened up an interesting legal dilemma: Is it a school's fault, legally, if it continues?

If it is, can the school be considered negligent when some a**-wipe kid decides to verbally torture another kid in school? If so, imagine the frighteningly bottomless can of worms we've unleashed! Well, here it goes:

Barnegat School District agreed to pay $60,000 to a middle school student who claims to have been sexually harassed for years.

Before you say I have no compassion, I was bullied. Severely.

It was a nightmare and haunts me to this day. Even though I think the definition of bullying has been corrupted in the last few years, what I suffered through sounds pretty similar to what the Barnegat student went through. It would never have occurred to either me or my parents to sue the school, as this would have fallen under the category of "unfortunate things that can happen to you when you're a kid" and that's what makes life suck sometimes.

Trust me, it was devastating at the time, to the point where I missed almost half the school year, just too afraid to go and my parents did every single thing they could; talking to administrators, talking to teachers even directly confronting a student or two. (Hell hath no fury like a mom whose little girl is being tortured!)

But ultimately we understood that sometimes a bad thing can happen in life that simply cannot be adjudicated, compensated for, or avoided. Are we seriously going to make a school start paying up for meanies in school whose behavior they can't control?

I've been bullied and have kids who have. It's hurtful and horrible no matter what it's based on: sexuality, appearance, religion or random BS. And the most you can hope is that you learn a lesson from it, become stronger from it, and live through it.

No amount of money will give you the strength of character that learning this lesson will.

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