Bullied in school? Fight back (Opinion)
It's time for society to have a wake up call. Instead of coddling kids and trying to solve school yard problems (including bullying) by passing new legislation, how about we teach kids the value of being tough?
Another useless law is coming our way, which will make parenting even harder and do nothing to stop the trend in teen suicides, drug abuse and depression. "Mallory's Law", which will hold parents of bullies responsible, is being named after a 12 year old kid who tragically took her own life.
Laws increasing punishment for bullying are misguided and will likely do more harm than good. It's time to stop using dead kids to justify legislation, which serves only to have people 'feel good' and gives the pols in Trenton a nice headline.
First of all, we need to toughen up the kids going through school today. If they can't handle being picked on, they are at a disadvantage when they are finally on their own. Second, we need to redefine bullying and stop qualifying how a kid is being picked on, it doesn't matter if they are picking on them for weight, looks, religion or anything in between.
What matters is that the kids are empowered to ignore or in some cases fight back. Having a kid 'charged' with bullying because he calls another kid 'gay' in order to put them down is absurd. We're raising the definition of normal schoolyard conflicts up to the level of hate crimes. It's an outrage and it's hurting our kids.
How many kids get out of high school unable to deal with conflict and adversity in normal life? Think it's just a coincidence that drug abuse and suicides are on the rise? It's not. We're coddling kids too long and not letting kids be kids. Let them fight, let them find their own boundaries. Adults would only be involved if there's a physical threat or if a kid is so badly bullied that it's impacting their ability to attend school. But the first line of defense is the kids themselves. If I faced the issue, I'd veto Mallory's Law.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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