In the wake of a teenaged girl's suicide, prosecutors are now bringing criminal charges against the kids who tormented and bullied her. Some of the young men who had sex with her (she was 15) are facing charges of statutory rape as well. This happened of course in Massachusetts (AKA the New Jersey of New England) just further proving that Masshole kids can be as rotten as New Yorkers any day of the week.
I've got my own problems with the criminal charges being filed--after all, if bullying and tormenting other kids (it's not clear from the article that the kids here physically attacked the girl) can be a criminal offense that would be a serious clamp on free speech. And statutory rape laws are pretty stupid anyway when applied to people only a few years apart in age. It's awful that a suicide resulted, but this looks like prosecutorial overreach.
What to do about bullying though? It's easy when you're a guy, after all a little introduction to Mr. Fist and His Twin Brother usually can do the trick, unless the kid picking on you is a member of the Latin Dragons in which case you might just need to learn to run fast and invest in some sneakers. Boys can't really mentally torment each other very well because we tend to be pretty dull-headed, especially in high school. Girls, on the other hand, have an intense depth of cruelty born of insecurity and tend to turn on each other with such Machiavellian genius that I am just glad I never had to go through high school as one. How should we handle these young monsters?
Well, the various school boards I've written to have not been responsive to my suggestions to bring back whippings. (My theory being if the kids are all being repeatedly whipped they have little time to torment one another, since they're so busy asking each other how long until the next whipping). But parents have a direct responsibility to keep their kid on the straight and narrow. If by the time your kid is 15 the back of your hand isn't sore from smacking them, you're doing something wrong.
Also, just in case your kid is an evil crazy Hitler psycho, you might want to keep a gun handy.
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