School districts are NOT responsible for a child’s suicide
The story of 12 year old Mallory Grossman who killed herself after being taunted and cyber bullied by her classmates is one of the saddest we've ever heard.
But unfortunately, there is nothing that can prevent bullying.
Therefore, her parents' lawsuit claiming that the school could have done more to prevent the bullying is at best, baseless and at worst a dangerous precedent.
The reason I say this is that bullying can never be completely eradicated. Yes, we can bring more awareness to it and probably make kids a little more cognizant of the psychological damage it does to its victims. But getting rid of it completely is impossible --Just like it would be impossible to eradicate crime or drug addiction or mean things people say to each other.
Because people are people, and they're good ones and bad ones and they're sometimes going to be behave inappropriately and do bad things to each other, no amount of legislation aimed to stop it can work.
In fact, ALL anti-bullying laws are misguided because in the United States of America we really can't make it against the law to say something mean to somebody else. Our first amendment protects us, even if we are in sixth grade. You may think this sounds heartless but while this is truly tragic, the fact is that anyone who commits suicide (at any age) makes that decision for him or herself.
I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of the bully's mom or dad--If your child was the one who insulted another kid; the one last mean comment that pushed a kid over the edge. Do you really believe that your child is responsible for the suicide?
In the same way, a school cannot be held responsible because even if the school does everything it possibly can to stem the tide during school hours, most of this behavior goes on outside of school. Do we really want our schools policing our kids 24/7?
It's hard to make this comment in the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy. Yet this is the exact time to do it because we need to learn from this that even in the emotion of all of this we need to make prudent and wise and sensible and rational decisions.
In our sadness and outrage, it's so tempting to try to find someone to blame so that this can be prevented in the future. But there is no one and there is no way.
As a person who was bullied mercilessly in middle school, with my parents and school trying to do everything they could to stop it, I will tell you that my heart breaks for Mallory Grossman. But I can also tell you but had I been one of the kids who couldn't take it and then finally decided to end it all, it still is not the school's fault.
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