Could bullying and harassment become a criminal offense?

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  • B ob Richmond, CA
    June 10, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    1. The emphasis and energy would be best spent in enhancing the strength of the bullied.

    2. If some one offends openly, where there are others to witness (in person or online) - the offender must be censured publicly. He/She has eliminated the protection of privacy by their behaving such in public. I think this is the basis of making it illegal, to punish openly.

    And I have no idea how to accomplish either.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    June 8, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    We need to teach what has always been taught up till about 20 years ago…."Sticks and stones will break my bones but names and faces will never hurt me." Kids and adults these days lose their own sense of identity when someone calls them names. Why is that? We can all be "hurt" over different things. Who is to say what will hurt someone enough to take his or her own life? It is insane to criminalize petty behavior. It is like trying to criminalize stupidity. Assault and battery is something different altogether. Calling names from afar seems so juvenile. What we need is to do a better job teaching children manners. Remember those? Call this behavior the rudeness that it is. It is not criminal.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 6, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    When we become a nation of laws rather than a nation of morals, we will collapse.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 5, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    No it should not.

    1) If an eight year old is a bully, are we going to put him in jail?

    2) If it is verbal bullying it is hard to prove unless the other child had eyewitnesses.

    3) Maybe a gang of children decides to lie about someone else and they make up a story.

    4) Bullies put a lot of thought into being subtle and snide to allow themselves deniability. Sexual harassment can be as subtle as a man complimenting a woman on her dress.

    5) If someone disagrees with someone else's view some will characterize those views as being hateful, intolerant, etc. Would it be illegal then to say, "Every child has a right to be raised by a father and a mother and that this should be reflected in our laws."

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    June 5, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    Free speech, even mean, hostile speech, is supposed to be protected in this country. This is ridiculous. If someone is lying about someone else, that can be dealt with using laws against defamation. If someone is threatening physical harm, or putting people in fear of imminent assault, that is also already covered by existing law. But, to criminalize mere words is a violation of the Constitution. We are becoming a nation of people who feel they have a right never to get their feelings hurt. Raising kids with that expectation is more damaging to them than anything else.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    June 5, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Homophobia is rampant in our church if we we try to stop that just like we stopped racism the bullying will also decreade.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Creating laws which once were common sense is destroying this nation. Letting bullying affect you has simply become more rampant with society losing there way.

    Those who truly understand realize this is just a symptom of a larger problem.

  • Goddess Divine Orem, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    Bullying is a type of mental harassment and should be considered a criminal offense. I hope this happens soon. While the youth have problems with bullying, no one talks about bullying within the adult population. This is something that is starting to sparkle in some circles. Adults get out of control, aggressive and start yelling. If you go to the police, they will not consider this a threat unless the person had a weapon or physically attacked you. Even though you are not physically injured, the anxiety and the fear caused by this violent behavior affects the victim's mental health and peace of mind. You don't feel safe anymore. I hope someone looks into bullying among adults since adults have even more power to cause damage than teenagers do. Also, bullying among LDS members is something that has been happening but no one talks about it. I know of a few stories where sisters were yelled at by men in leadership positions. Yes, bullying EVERYWHERE should stop.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    I believe in freedom of speech, but some things shouldn't be tolerated! We protect adults, why shouldn't we protect our children? If somebody treated a co worker that way, they would be out the door or maybe worse! I think, in some cases, it is similar to stalking and we do have laws for that! I remember having to stand up for myself. The fights were always out by the flag pole and I knew if I didn't go, I would never see the end of it! I went and I won, thankfully! I never had a problem after that. Now days, it is much worse! Some of the things I see and read are really bad! Think about it, as adults, most of us would not take it! We would leave or do something! What can the kids do? They have to go to school. Bullying should not be tolerated. They should remove the child that is doing the bullying! Just like you would with an adult! Maybe if they have to take another year to graduate, it will make them think, and it would get the lazy parents to do something also!

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 3, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Republicans are really upset that Condoleza Rice didn't get to talk at one particular college. But are they going to invite Obama to speak at a conservative college MBA programs?

  • DonO Draper, UT
    June 1, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Any behavior that causes a student to feel unsafe or unwelcome at school is bullying. Every child, regardless of race, religion, academic or athletic prowess, physical appearance, sexual orientation or any number of other factors, deserves the respect of his/her peers and the protection of school authorities. Failure to learn, depression, anti-social behavior and even suicide are known results of bullying. If it takes criminal penalties to help establish and/or enforce safe environments in schools, then so be it.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 31, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    When freedom is used to improperly take away another's right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, the offender is committing a crime.

    All of life would teach us that there is safety in numbers. That is, all except those who want us to be weak, unprotected and vulnerable.

    I think bullying is a group sport. People do it to gain admiration and respect from the rest of their team. Defending individuals from bullying might be best accomplished by creating an opposing team for those who need the help and membership of a team. Perhaps in some cases the schools should actually promote membership in clickes or non-school clubs.

  • Mormon Book Worm ----------, UT
    May 31, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Trust me--I hate bullies and getting bullied. I have experience with that. But don't you think it'd be too hard for the preschoolers to grasp that bullying is against the law?

    It really depends on what definition you're using for "bullying". A sarcastic remark? Saying something mean because you had a bad day? Critiquing someone on a performance to tell them what they could do better? I could understand if you're only making the law against several accounts of teasing or violence that happen over and over again and make the victim really sad.

    Shouldn't we teach the kids that people who bully are just being jerks and you should try to ignore them? Tell them that suicide hurts the people that love you. People who bully are usually having a hard time at home. How can you help them? Make friends, not enemies.

    If we make a law against bullying, then we'll have to make a law against jealousy, bad households, and stress to completly obliterate it.

    Does that seem logical?

    People learn by trial and error; not laws. If the government makes this law, they are taking away your learning experiences.

  • Ciao Mike West Valley City, UT
    May 29, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    "Bully" has totally lost it's meaning because it is so overused. Much like "Nazi" and "Racist", once everyone throws the words around for every negative behavior they totally lose their significance.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 29, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Hey amangetick -

    "liberal/leftist bullies that drive speakers away at the college campuses . . ."

    So you're saying that because the faculty and students at most colleges tend to be sensible and rational Moderates and Liberals (i.e., reasonable people) and not "Conservatives" . . . That it's justifiably to force nonsensical, anti-academic, anti-government "Conservative" speakers onto them?

    I disagree.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 29, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    A better solution regarding bullying and harassment in social media would be for the corporations owning those sites to come down hard on offenders when it's reported and to make reporting easier.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    May 29, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Absolutely - too many your people have taken their own lives as a result of bullying. We need to grow up and if it takes making these actions a crime and it saves even one life - it is worth it.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    May 28, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    As long as we're really going after true bullies, and not just someone that said something mean to some sensitive soul, then I'm all for harsh penalties. There has to be some reason behind it and some guidelines. People are getting a little too quick to yell "bully!" these days, just like they like to yell "Hate!" whenever someone brings up a opposing view.

    In my perfect world, the penalty would be to lock the parents and/or biger siblings of the bullied kid in a room with the bully for 15 minutes with no cameras allowed. Alas, I fear this will never be.

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    May 27, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    "Could bullying and harassment become a criminal offense?"

    If so, then all of the liberal/leftist bullies that drive speakers away at the college campuses across the US would disappear.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 27, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    "Could bullying and harassment become a criminal offense?"

    If so, Right Wing radio would disappear.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 22, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    By creating contention, and division,- our political leaders strengthens their grip on America.

  • Daughter of God slc, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    This should be done in the entire country!