As a bullied boy dies in Pennsylvania, bullying in general and the fate of the bully, or bullies, is at stake. We must consider the question of whether the bully should face criminal charges for the death of the bullied boy.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the bullied boy was attacked in school by classmates early in February, and it seems the extent of his injuries was not immediately apparent. While Bailey sustained a broken nose in the incident as well as a concussion, he was treated and released to his parents — who soon observed their son was not behaving normally.
After seizures began, doctors put Bailey into a medically-induced coma from which he never awakened. Bailey had turned 12 the day before he died. Counselors have been called in after the bullied boy’s death.
Ray Rice, a Football plays who is an active supporter of anti-bullying causes, wrote on his Facebook page that the bullied boy’s death might be a catalyst for calling bullying a crime:
“I don’t know if we will ever get to a point where bullying is actually considered a CRIME, rather than ‘kids being kids’ or a ‘playground incident.’ I don’t know if the kid that did this to Bailey will be punished severely enough or if he will receive the help I know he truly needs.”
The bullied boy dying will probably cause many parents to ask the same question. As USA Today reports, politicians are slowly addressing these concerns:
“In 1999, only Georgia had an anti-bullying law. Now every state but Montana does. In the past 13 years, states have enacted nearly 130 anti-bullying measures, half of which came since 2008. Eighteen states have laws that allow victims to seek legal remedies for bullying, either from schools that don’t act or from the bullies themselves.”
Above The Law argues that such actions are an overreaction:
“It needs to stop. No, not the bullying — which is unavoidable when more than one male competes for whatever status/prestige/sex is on offer — but the tragic overreactions to the bullying, and the accompanying rush to the courthouse steps. … What my parents knew, and what I’ve learned over the years, is that in life there will always be bullies — and there will always be people who are being bullied. And you are not going to be very successful in life if you don’t know how to handle both roles because you’ll have to play one or the other from time to time. It’s the job of parents to teach their kids how to handle being bullied, being embarrassed, and being humiliated.”
This topic brings to mind an interesting discussion I had with other parents this past Friday night. Their 12-year-old son was being bullied by another boy. What makes this case of bullying so different is that their son can lift 250 plus pounds and has mixed martial arts (MMA) training from his father and the gym he operates.
According to school rules, even if the bully gangs up on their son with several others, if he tries to defend himself the bullied boy would be punished by school officials along with the bullies. Basically, this kid is forced to take physical punishment even though he could wipe the floor with the bullies. Never mind he might be charged with assault with a deadly weapon due to his MMA training. So is complete non-violence the answer?
Another factor is even though the bullied boy died, the bullies probably had no intention of actually killing Bailey and probably had no clue about the medical conditions. United States law tends to consider only actions and results. Other countries, like Japan, attempt to look at motivations and intentions when considering a potential crime. So, yes, the bullied boy’s death is tragic but I have to wonder if criminal charges might be overkill.
As the bullied boy dies, what do you think should be done with bully? Should bullying resulting in death carry automatic criminal charges? Or should America consider other options?
@Oprah Bully is a crime! Bailey's parents are mourning his child and they need help with the funeral expenses. What do we need to do, Oprah?
— Lu0 (@lucerogonzalez) March 4, 2013