A bully that used Facebook to threaten and manipulate teenage girls was sentenced to one year of detention. He got off way too easy.
He pretended to be someone else and told girls he was going to hurt or humiliate them the next day in school unless they exposed themselves or performed sexual acts in front of their computer.
As a guy that grew up getting bullied and reading Spider-Man comic booksm, I have an overdeveloped sense of hatred for bullies.
I was a skinny, awkward, relatively nice guy who never understood the thrill of picking on someone smaller than you. It always seemed like something the cowardly bad guys did, not the badass Darth Vader-style villains but their toady henchmen who always screw up the master plan.
It's crazy to me that adults would end up in jail if they ever punched someone in the face but for kids it's the status quo. Adults would never be expected to do their job if every time they walked out of the elevator someone was waiting to steal their briefcase but kids are expected to do well on exams while someone sits behind them and whispers violent threats.
Social networking has brought a whole new dimension to bullying. I used to fantasize about how great it would be to move to a new town and start over. For kids today that's no longer an option. They're online histories, and their oppressors, now follow them from place to place.
I'm not saying kids should go to jail or have their lives ruined because of childhood transgressions but we can definitely do more to let students know that this behavior won't be tolerated.
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