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Are new school anti-bullying laws fair, or unreasonable?

 By John Vettese, Student Voices staff writer

As the new school year begins, students and educators are reminded that it’s been just shy of a year since the suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi brought the issue of school bullying into the national spotlight.

The Rutgers University freshman jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York last Sept. 22 after learning his encounter with another man in his dorm room had been viewed on a laptop webcam. His death prompted a public outcry, and national news began extensive reporting on similar incidents elsewhere in the country. These included 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide when she was bullied at her Massachusetts high school by classmates, and 13-year-old Megan Meier of Missouri, who did the same when she was bullied on MySpace.

State legislatures have responded by passing laws to curb bullying in school. Sixteen states – including California, Iowa, North Carolina and Vermont – passed anti-bullying laws, 14 of them protecting against bullying because of sexual orientation and sexual identity. These laws have resulted in new school policies, range from kindergarten-level workshops stressing the harm in bullying, all the way up to high school policies that hold bystanders who don’t report bullying accountable.

Now, educators and advocates are asking if these school bullying laws go too far, placing unreasonable demands on educators and violating students’ First Amendment right to free speech.

In New Jersey, school administrators are protesting that the state’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law, which went into effect on Sept. 1. They say it places too heavy a burden on school districts while not providing them with the money needed to implement the law. Considered the strictest in the nation, the law requires each school to adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies, provide teachers and staff with training on handling bullying situations, and act quickly to report incidents of bullying. The state’s Department of Education monitors and grades each district; superintendents and teachers who don’t meet the requirements could lose their licenses.

East Hanover School District’s superintendent, Joseph L. Ricca, told the New York Times: “We really want to be able to implement this new law and achieve results, [but its] sheer scope may prove to be a bit unwieldy and may require some practical refinement.”

In Connecticut, a cyberbullying law was passed that would allow students to be punished by their school for comments they make in online forums – harassing their classmates via Facebook, for instance. The law is similar to one in nearby Massachussets, which allows schools to punish students for online messages and comments that create a hostile environment or disrupts school. The Connecticut law takes this further, allowing students to be punished for online speech that “causes physical or emotional harm” or places a student in fear of such harm, in school or out.

This is a tricky area, since some view this as a violation of the bully’s First Amendment right to free speech. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Morse v. Frederick that students can, under certain circumstances, face school discipline for actions off school grounds. The court has not yet ruled on whether “off school ground” applies to the Internet as well, and lower courts are divided on the issue. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a Western Pennsylvania school violated the First Amendment by punishing a student for creating a Facebook group defaming a teacher; the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a school was within its rights to discipline a student who started a MySpace page attacking fellow students.

In an interview with the Connecticut Mirror, Sandy Staub of the American Civil Liberties Union said: “Let’s stop the wave of creating these cyberbullying laws for a few minutes and think about how we can both protect students and speech rights at the same time.”

What do you think?

Do new school bullying laws go too far? Are states placing fair regulations on school districts to safeguard against bullying? Or are they imposing unreasonable demands without providing rescources to meet them? How about cyberbullying – does Connecticut’s law violate students’ right to free speech? Does your school have new bullying rules? If so, do you think they are fair? Join the discussion!
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lansdowne pa
mrs.murphy/william penn school district
bullying is a issue with a lot of people now a day , but people shouldnt be bullying at all .

Lansdowne Pa
Tyjheer Harmon
Mrs. Murphy
The laws are fair because no one should die because someone bullied them. The fact that 18 year old Tyler Clementi was murdered because he may have been better than everyone else is considered hate. Bullying would take place because you having something they don't or they are just taking advantage of you.

LaCanada/ Flintridge, California
Grace Lawlor
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Freshman
Bullying is a nationwide issue that will be perennial in our modern culture for a very long time, and the main cause of controversial ideas on this topic are the result of naivety and misinformation. People that are not informed on the topic of bullying make uneducated presumptions and are more often than not mislead into a false idea of this problem.

LaCanada/ Flintridge, California
Grace Lawlor
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Freshman
Bullying is a nationwide issue that will be perennial in our modern culture for a very long time, and the main cause of controversial ideas on this topic are the result of naivety and misinformation. People that are not informed on the topic of bullying make uneducated presumptions and are more often than not mislead into a false idea of this problem.

Oklahoma City
Mary Rose Academy for Higher Learning
Bulling is definitely a serious issue and should be dealt with. I know we have the Freedom of Speech, but do the bullies really deserve this right? They are abusing this law and taken advantage of it. Individuals should stop bullying altogether.

pelham high school
me personally being affected by bullying, it was a horrible feeling to know that nothing could be done about what people were saying to me. for people to say that bullying someone is pushing someone against a locker and that's the end offends me, its things like taking pictuers of me, following me, harrrasing me and calling me volgure names. it hurts, and the reason why i think there need to be stronger laws is because thre needs to be more than a detention or two and someone saying dont do it again. detentions stoped working as a form of punishment a very long time ago, and there needs to be something that actually makes them stop. ive almost lost numerous friends to bullying, and if nothing ever happened, i would've lost my self.

As a person who has gone through the abuse of bullying, I can understand and believe that the rights of free speech should not be protected when it can come to saving a life. When I was younger teachers just looked the other way and nothing was done to protect me. If I had not taken the step to be transferred into a private school before entering high school I may not have even survived another year or the mental and physical abuse I went through.

coon rapids mn
coon rapids highschool
I feel that kids need to learn to take a comment and learn to embrace what others insult them on instead of dragging a blade across there wrist. honestly people need to learn to not be so soft and to stand up for themselves. its sad what we call teens.

Pilgrim Park
We need to have more stricter law on cyber bulling but not so much on the parents. CYBER BULLING NEEDS TO END NOW!!!!!!

Lake View High School
Bullying is inhumane. Everyone is different and if people can't see that then I feel bad for those people.

West Wendover NV
West Wendover jr/sr high school
Im doing a research report on bullying laws. Ive read this over and over. Honestly i do not think that bullying laws are "unreasonable" or "unfair". Bullying has ruined some many peoples lives. And its pathetic that people feel the need to make someone feel so hopeless that they commit suicide. Its just awful. Even though a law may not completely stop the issue there will at least be a bigger consequence for there actions...

burk va
Ms.Ashour/annandale terrace
I think it is reasonable Because bullying ruins peoples life and we need a law to make it stop! people die and families are devistated.

Belle Tournesol
Bullying should end now. Everybody is different and we need to embrace it.

West Palm Bach
suncoast high
As a person who has been bullied, i realized that there is no way to stop bullying. The real thing is to not feed into it and to let it go. I always thought that i would hate my childhood bullies. But they became my friends.

Suicide ends the possibility of things getting better. These laws need to be enforced. It's bull that kids make people feel so bad about themselves, this needs to stop

Franklin, IN
Mr. Bailey/FCHS
While it does pose a problem that people are committing suicide, not only is it within their right to commit the suicide, it also is not the bully's fault unless it was specifically provoked or intent was focused in such a manner to cause the person's suicide. It is unreasonable to say that bullies are without wrong, and the current standard holds that the school can do nothing without evidence, and that is how it will remain. Otherwise, this could become a witch hunt-esque situation where innocent people are being harmed by the laws meant to protect them. The bullies could harm people further by manipulating the laws to their benefit, lying that someone said something when they did not and causing that person grief. When people are arguing that "people speaking to other people" is not a matter of freedom of speech, it begins to look as though those people do not understand the situation. People speaking to other people is protected under the First Amendment in the Constitution, and the legislature is not allowed to abridge that right with any law whatsoever.

Charlottesville, VA
Ms.Bailey / MHS
I think laws for bullying are never too far, its good that they are trying to be more protective about those being bullying, instead of doing nothing.

San Antonio, TX
Garner MS
In my opinion I think bullying is just wrong. I have been bullied myself and it makes me feel really depressed. We need to enforce these laws so the victims won't feel scared anymore and bring the bullies to justice.

Bullying is just wrong. We need these laws in order to scare the bullies out of bullying. If we don't do anything then the number of suicides will just go up. These victims are in danger. They don't want to die, they want things to get better or just not live the life they have because it is being judged by others.

timberviw middle school
There are some people out here in our world that need to open up there minds. It is crazy that when people are I real death situations all they think about it freedom of speech right. Which one is more important that bullys eather In the computer or in person can hurt a person and make their victim feel that they are nothing

Hamilton Freshman
I think it's insane that so many deaths have occured over bully in the past couple of years. I have been bullied since 3rd grade, and it just gets worse over the years. A couple months ago my best friend's brother had commit suicide because he had no friends and he was bullied. He went to the teachers and they called him a tattletale. They basically told him to suck it up because it wasn't their problem. So, if teachers get their licenses taken away under this law because they don't take bullying seriously, they deserve it. No one deserves to feel so helpless and worthless. So sorry to the bullies who are having their rights "violated" by this law, but I think a person's mental health is more important than you being able to say whatever you want. Think of all the school shootings lately, all those kids had been severely bullied both ways in the past, this is a way to prevent those school shootings. If Adam Lanza had laws like this in his school, would he have killed 26 people, including 20 innocent, defenseless elementary students? If he hadn't been bullied, which causes severe mental problems in the majority of cases, would he have grown up to become a mass murderer, and taken his own life?

South Bend, Indiana
Mrs. Beck/Greene Intermediate Center
I do not know what you guys are talking about but i feel like i should say that i agree with who ever is right!! Okay. We need cyberbullying laws and right now my friend called me lame she must be a bully. smh. Anywho, I believe that cyber bullying laws will help many of the students who are at risk at the moment. PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

The problem is not going to be solved by having more anti-bullying programs because many kids, especially the bullies, just think they are stupid and don't get anything from them. I think laws on this subject, especially cyber bullying, is good. The laws can't be too strict though. Laws that punish teachers for not noticing bullying or bystanders for not reporting it are ridiculous because many bystanders are scared that if they say anything then they will be next. Also, with the way kids treat each other these days, it's a fine line between joking around and bullying, and many teachers don't realize that that line is different for each group of people. As I have read, each situation is different and no one general law will cover it. Many would utilize the law to their advantage and accuse someone of bullying is they say one harmless sarcastic comment.

Yes, Bullying should be passed as a law. There are way too many people that have killed their self over being bullied. last week there were a totally of 5 people who killed themselves over bullying,Which they were 15 years old or younger. we have got to do something because this is insane.

GA Connections Acedemy
This is actually my second comment, and I am just gonna give a few more reasons why there should be laws against bullying. For starters, Children and teens can have serious depression and even....suicide. I'm not one to be emotional, but a 13 year old committing suicide because of bullying? Thats terrible. No one deserves to be bullied, even if there annoing or just kinda dumb, everyone has feeling. NO TO BULLYING! And yeah there should be laws.

GA Connections Acedemy
I was am 12 now and i was bullied in 2 different scout troops. I know what it feels like to be bullied, and get beaten up. Bullies can do more than just call you a doofus. They can beat you up and harass you. Bullying is no joke, and often teachers wont do anything about it. If you ask me, i think there should be laws against bullying, because even if your a big moron, no one deserves to be treated like that.

Syracuse, New York
Westhill high school
Bullying has turned into something so huge that numerous kids go to taking their own lives. I have been bullied since I was 8 and I am 15 now. I am leaving westhill because they don't do anything about it. Help?

iAN fIsheR
i think bullying is a really bad thing because yhe emoyions the bully has in his/hers life thats why they bully they cant hold it in anymore so they take it out with mean abusive comnents and also physical

Denver, CO
Mickey McGurk
Westminster High School
Bullying is a lot more thrn just hurting someonw, it cant happen mentaly. And it doesnt always happen in schools. Family can bully too, but do we just let that slide?

Wheaton IL
Monroe middle school
Well I think that there should be more consequences if a student bullies another student and hurts them. That punishment should be maybe a detention for two day after school because maybe that would teach them not to bully anyone else and to see what it would be like if he/she was bullied and if they felt hurt or happy.

New Jersey
South Brunswick High School
well i live in NJ and the law is kinda strict but in the end victims get justice and it will prevent suicides, and unwanted harassment. and it kinda helps people think about what they put online. which will only help them in the long run. now we can focus on what we came to school for; learn!!!!!

saint paul,mn
crossroads montessori
Laws are not enforced in several schools here in Saint Paul,Mn. They disreguard the laws that have been passed nationwide. They put their own action's,little to none in place, and appear to favor the bullies instead of the kids that are bullied. When one decides to relocate to another state and you hear how great it is, Don't do it until you find out how serious the school is about Bullying and major resolve to remove it from schools. This city seems to be a Victim state, they favor the bad because it seems to be the majority, and the kids who are well behaved and whose parent's raise them up to be fair and not hit, get the abuse. I won't begin to tell you that this is our second school here and we have had 4 incidents already, and my child was diagnosed with Autism. We have to take a stand for our kids and say no MORE!

Troy New York
Guy Stoliker
kids school
People talking speech rights?? Are you kidding me? WE NEED THESE LAWS Period. If you parents can't handle these bullies who bully your kids like I do, then let the law take care of this. are the laws going to far? Still, are you kidding me? States need better laws against bullying. Cause if I have to protect my kid because other parents won't step up, or schools won't step up, then I CAN HANDLE The Bully MYSELF! I will stop the bully from bullying my kid. OHHH, I know what your saying now, Im a bully? NO, not even close, I handle things the proper way..0 tolerance!!!

Mr. Norris
These regulations are controlling and annoying!

stn. mountain georgia
PATH Academy

i think the bullying laws are out of control. Each situation is unique. There are patterns in bullying and children that are not bullies are now being labeled as such. Kids are being told if any comment hurts your feeling or upsets you that they are being bullied. I am sorry you cannot make people like you or want to be your friend. No matter what age you are there will be people who will talk about you not like you or hurt your feelings. Its how we react and behave that is the key...We should be teaching our kids the things they will need to succeed in this world. Yes respect each other but when you are attacked and bullied its ok to fight back and stand up for yourself. Its not ok that you get in trouble when you do this. Its not ok to hit push or shove another student because you do not like the statement he/she made and its not ok that the person who got physical gets in less trouble then the student who made the comment.

Freeport High School
I strongly believe that there need to be more happening to help victims of bullying but more importantly to prevent the bullying in the first place. I do not think that there are too many laws in place but I do think that there is such thing as going too far with how we react. There should be consequences for people who are bullying other but I do think that in some case we react to a point that we are almost bullying the person that was doing the bullying.

The problem is they think they are helping but they aren't. And it isn't just my school its every other school in the U.S. They do it to make themselves feel better like they are making a difference, well they aren't. If we want a difference we have to fight for it. Im tired of flipping to the news channel And seeing local student kills herself. I mean really? I have been bullied since,well, as ling as I can remember. Its unfair to praise these teachers for making a difference. They fail miserably only doing it for the wrong reasons not for us. But, to all the bully victims, I know what your going through and im sorry but keep going I don't know if it gets better but im hoping. So.

Modesto, CA
DeziRay S.
Norman Glick Middle School
As a victim of bullying for most of my life, I find this awkwardly true, yet wrong? Yes, you have a freedom of speech and a right to your opinion, but some things should be better left unsaid. I lost my best friend to bullying two years ago and that fact just takes everything to the next extent for me.

Keams Canyon, AZ
Crystal J.
Hopi High
I am doing a research paper on the topic of bullying laws. What I have read is making me think twice about bullying laws. I think it is a good idea to pass these laws to protect the children but it is also going too far. They should make a law that is protective and also fair. I don't want anymore suicides to happen. No one does

i beilieve that they are fair. since staring a research project on bulling it has opend my eyeys. To the consequensces of bulling and how far it has been around. I think that ani- bulling law has help many within the schools. Since now the generation is so viciouse with accepting certain thing. Thus, it has approved our school

Porterville, Ca
Such laws are unreasonable, since they punish people for simply not getting involved. Teachers should be required to get involved and help the victims of bullying, but should not suffer legal consequences for not noticing. Students should not be required to interfere whatsoever, but should be encouraged constantly to do so. Bullying is a major problem, but bullying people into stopping bullying is not the right way to go.

st.Louis / mo
redd black
Mrs.Mc Donald/Honry Middle School
we are being bullied

Brooklyn/New York
Nekrutman/James Madison
I think that these laws are especially important in a New York school. I have learned from experience that even though New York is a very accepting place full of very accepting people, you may come across someone who is close-minded. In my school, I have not only been picked on for my weight, but also for my sexual orientation and lack of female gender expression. It's very important to educate youth as well as put these laws into action.

Belleville Ny
Miss Colby
I think that rules for bullying matter in bigger schools, i come from a school where i have 40 some classmates in my grade. everybody knows everyone. you cant even pick on someone without getting introuble and yes the other person doesnt get offended, nobody is mean about it at my school, totally rediculous what the punishment is for calling someone a name which happens to be there nickname and a teacher thinks that your being a bully or mean about it.

i think that when it comes to cyber bullying, we have to realize that a lot of the time, the bully online is actually someone who is getting bullied at school, and is just mad because of that specific reason.

Greenwich High School
I think that concerning the cyber-bullying laws in CT, it should simply be a matter of whether or not the results of the bullying have been reflected in the student's performance or discipline; there will always be mean people, though the fact that bullying is "repeated" harassment should narrow it down. However, I support the law, the only issue being the cyberbullying clause making the law questionable

Mr. Sorenson/Benson High School
I personally think that the new bullying rules are fair to an extent. If someone is just being extra sensitive then there should be exceptions. It all should depend on the situation.

Vanessa Souza
John Rimas/Watertown High School
First Amendment gives a person the right to freedom of speech, but does it cross a line when someone is emotionally hurt, or attacked?. Yes we all have the right to say what we want to say, but these laws are reasonable and fair. Bullying is something that should be taken very seriously, and those who do such thing should be ashamed of such an act. People have no right to judge others, they don't live in their shoes. Yes it's freedom of speech, but really? All that freedom is many times used in the wrong way, bringing someone to hurt themselves emotionally and physically. Sometimes causing depression, and even death. These people are taking the First Amendment for granted! These laws are fair, and I truly feel pity for those who have to step on people to feel better about themselves. They are the ones who should get help.

Watertown, Ma
Mr. Rimas
I think that bullying should not be allowed in school because it is just wrong to do. Just because its wrong to do doesn't mean that kids are going to stop doing it because there not going to. Kids that get bullied often get to scared to come to school and there missing out of there school work. I believe if you get bullied outside of school like on the internet the school has really nothing to do with it. If your already in a conflict with that person that has bullied you in school and is also doing it on the internet then that's when the school has the right to be involved. Also bulling could come to the point where kids wanted to commit suicide because they just didn't want to be tortured anymore. Therefor the law should do something to prevent all these things from happening.

Watertown, Ma
Mr. Rimas
Yes because bulling should not be allowed in school because bulling only causes problems and doesn't help anyone. It also makes for a hostile learning environment in the classroom.

Watertown/ Ma
Mr.Rimas/ Watertown High school
New school anti bullying laws are very reasonable. I agree with them because bullying is something that is very serious and should be treated very serious. People should not bully others because it distracts from a good school environment and is unconstitutional, to me.

Watertown MA
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
Anti-bullying laws are set in place to protect students in school and technically anyone, in order to not be hurt, profiled or harassed without consequences for those who are the perpetrator. They are in fact fair because no one should be hurt or put down for being themselves, by making laws against that we protect our freedom of speech to be who we are. We should not be told what is "normal" and what we should be because everyone is different in their own way, no one is "normal". These laws hold those who are the bullies and perpetrators accountable for hurting someone else in the effort to stop bullying it will not end bullying completely but it will let those who are bullied know they have laws and people backing them up to keep them safe and happy not hurt and depressed. These laws are fair because everyone has been bullied but no one deserves to and now everyone is protected to not be hurt or harassed, this is fair because everyone is equal has freedom of speech and expression and should be treated and allowed to live a good life. These laws are fair to give everyone chances to live and live a happy life.

I think it is fair because it would stop the bullying

Sidney Montana
Ryan Sullivan
Ms. Fontana Sidney High School
Bullying is wrong, but if it is something that happens outside of school there should absolutely nothing that the school can do. It happened outside of school so it can't be brought into school. If I got a pink slip, or suspended for harrassing someone outside of school but it wasnt that serious, the crime just doesnt fit the punishment. The school should not get involved with anything that it has nothing to do with.

Sidney, Montana
Miss Fontana/Sidney High School
I feel like the laws might help. At the same time, they might make things worse. The bullies could get mad that they are getting in trouble and be even more cruel to who he is bullying. I think someone needs to do something, but I don't think that punishing them for everything they say, where ever they say it, will work.

Sidney, MT
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High
It is true that some students feel depressed, upset, mad, or even go to the extreme to commit suicide, but do you really believe a law is going to change it? It is a kid thing. Kids everywhere are going to bully whether there is a law or not. Punishment should be there for the children who bully, but its going to happen whether we like it or not.

Sidney, Montana
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I think that the new bullying laws are completely fair in all aspects. I'm a senior in high school and have been bullied since Kindergarden, I know that alot of kids do alot of differant things to handle being bullied in and out of school. Bullies do take thier first amendment rights to the limit by saying the things that they do to their peers. We've learned that you can hold those rights until "you hit someone else in the nose", and these bullies have done far worse than "hit these kids in the nose". Kids that harrass their peers never stop to think how much even what could seem like a harmless nick name can hurt someone and keep hurting them for years to come, schools have every right to step in and try to put a stop to it.

Portland, Oregon
Aly Clark
Ms. Tormala, St. Mary's Academy
While it is true that bullying is a major problem in the United States, I don't see it ending just because of a new law. However bleak an outlook it may be, bullying will always exist. If the government put more effort in to counseling services and making students feel accepted the effect of bullying may not reach as far. I agree that punishment based off of internet comments is legitimate, but at what point does it go too far? The school systems would do better to have more discussions with students about bullying to try to open their eyes to the effects of it. It has been proven throughout history that bullies can and will find a new way to verbally or physically abuse their targets. How effective is a cyber-based punishment if there are still snide remarks and hurtful notes being overlooked in the actual school? The only possible way to make a difference in the wide-spread epidemic of bullying is to bring awareness to those who are affected by the issue. Ignorance is not bliss people; ignorance is what aided the bullies in pushing others to suicide. The responsibility lies in the people who are surrounded by these injustices daily, not in those who sit in their offices and sign papers for a living.

detroit , mi
Ms. og/ cody @ act
bullyin is wrong... and i think it should be law to stop it

Phoenixville, Pa
Ashley Talley
Mrs. Lynch/Renaissance Academy
I believe that the school bullying laws are a little extreme to a certain extent. I don't agree with some schools holding other students accountable for witnessing bullying and not reporting it, because in many cases the witness could be afraid to be bullied themselves. Teachers shouldn't be allowed to lose their licenses if they don't report bullying because naturally, most teachers would handle that situation themselves. If it occured more than once then, it should be reported but, I think its a little obscene to fire a teacher over a bullying situation regarding other students. Cyberbullying being handled in school is a good way to prevent hostility within the schools but, on the other hand at the middle school & high school age bullying is inevitable. At some point or another during the day, or outside of school a child gets bullied. My school doesn't have any new bullying rules that I know of. But, i know they do handle cyberbullying.

Renaissance Academy
Whether the bullying is online or at school, the bullying online will only add to the bullying in school. The school needs to act as the "law", if they don't, who else will end what could contribute to a students stress and possibly suicide?

Sidney, Montana
Faulhaber Sidney High School
Anti-bullying rules are fair to an extent. I feel that if a student is being bullied at school then measures need to be put into affect. But i also feel that if someone is getting bullied over the internet outside of school that the school shouldn't be punishing the students. The students should take it to their parents and then meet with the other parents of the bully.

sidney, montana
There is nothing wrong with state laws against bullying. people are commintting suicide, because they have been treated to harshly. these bullies need to learn a lesson, and never bully again. People are taking the first amendment for granted and doing whatever they feel like, even though its wrong.

Sidney, Montana
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I think the anti-bullying law is fair. Bullies should be have to take resposibility for there choices. Thanks to bullies many young teen commit suicide. If someone commits suicide because of a bully i feel the bully should get the same punishment as someone who killed a person. Hopefully these laws with help prevent suicide and all these problems we have.

Irving, Texas
Ms. Bradley/ Nimitz
It's sad that it has come to these measures to prevent this atrocious act among students. I think there is nothing wrong with what these states are doing and that kids need to start understanding the harm a few words can really have. If this doesn't stop we might need to look at it from a different angle, instead of trying to stop the bullying teach kids how to look pass the harsh words and realize that they can be more then the kids that waste there time on bullying other students.

beeville texas
mariah williams
I think bulling is so bad,and its totally taking the first amendement for granted because its the freedom to speak,not the freedom to beat.

Beeville, Texas
A.C. Jones
I personally believe that anti-bullying laws are absoulutely fair. Bullying is 100% unexceptable. Words and actions have the power to stab a person straight in the heart. Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure, and not have to worry about avoiding such a person who will deliberately tear them down. Bullying can lead to suicide and many other destructive behaviors. These laws can reduce the risk of emotional stress and many deaths.

Jazzrey K. Gomez
Ms. Thorton/A.C. Jones

Beeville, TX
Mrs. Thorton/AC Jones
I think the anti-bullying laws are reasonable but only to a certain point do they become unreasonable. These laws help further protect our students by trying to stop the torment of other student who might drive a student being bullied to committe suicide. Cyberbullying is just as bad or even worst. Student are constintly starting fights online and posting hurtful things, trying to make someone feel bad but what they dont know is that what they are saying can either just bounce off the person or seriously hurt some to the point of them wanting to kill themselves. When someone is being harassed about something like sexual orientation, it makes them feel like they are less then what they should be which causes emotional stress then to the person the only way out is suicide.

Beeville tx
Mrs. Thorten/A.C. Jones
I believe that the anti-bullying laws are fair, many teens commite suicide because of this reason. These laws can help save lives. I, Myself had been harrast online. And it should be stoped. People Shouldnt Bully because of others sexuall orientation, race or personality. Many teens get depressed and think of thoughts of suicide. so maybe, these laws can reduce that risk. save another family from grief and pain.

I think these laws are a little 'too' stricked. it would be helpful if teachers keep a close eye on students and if theyre is a student upset in class they should let they counserler know to so maybe we can find out whats wrong. That is all, Thank you.

Irving, TX
Ms. Bradley/Nimitz
Laws about bullying, while well-intended, are unreasonable. For a law to work, there has to be a clear line drawn between okay and not okay. Bullying laws leave too much room for interpretation. How far is too far? At what point does playful teasing turn into hurtful bullying? Every person is different. For many people, teasing bounces right off. For others, the smallest comment that wasn't even intended as an insult can hurt their feelings. If all people, namely students, teachers, and legislators, have these different personalities and views, how can there be an agreed upon general rule when it comes to reporting a case of bullying? I do not think an agreement is possible, so it is unreasonable.

I think the new school bullying laws are fair. The First Amendment does not really let a student to practice the freedom of speech to do some kind of harm to others. I believe this Amendment was ratified to give people the opportunity to protest and stand up for themselves in order to protect themselves using words rather than to cause physical or emotional injuries to others. It does not grant individuals the right to bully others. The states' regulation on schools are also fair. They have to do anything within their power to help ensure the students' safety in schools. Without the strict regulations placed on schools, more and more students are going to end up doing awful things to themselves such as committing suicide just because they were bullied due to their sexual orientations or identities. Without resources to help them, teachers will need to find a way on their own to protect people enrolled into their schools from being bullied. Cyberbullying should as well be prohibited. These new anti-bullying laws will definitely reduce the number of deaths across the nation due to sexual preferences and identities.

I think the anti-bullying laws are completely fair. If people bullying others is causing them to physically harm their selves then there should be laws against it. I don;t think its right for someone to drive someone to the point of suicide without any consequence. In a sense it's kinda like they are committing murder though they are not physically killing the person yet they are mentally tearing them apart which in turn cause them to kill them self. I don't think bullying has anything to do with the right to free speech when it come down to the matter of someones life. In my opinion the preservation of life comes before the freedom of speech which is exactly why I do not think the bullying laws are unreasonable.

If bulling others can make the victims actually commit suicide, then it is important to try and stop bulling as much as possible. By punishing the bully for what he is saying to others is not taking that person's freedom of speech away. The bully is allowed to say whatever he wants, however, like everything else in life, the bully must live with the consequences of his actions and words. Would the bully rather be punished with a detention or some other school punishment, or would the bully rather live with the knowledge that his actions may have caused someone's death? By having more extreme laws about not bulling, whether at school or on the internet, we can prevent the death of the victim, and the large amount of guilt that the bully may have knowing that the reason the victim died was because of that bully's fault.

Bullying isn't a trend that just popped up just recently, it is a problem that been around since forever. I believe that even if this new anti bullying law is now under affect it won't change a thing. There will always be people that hate on others that spread insults. I also believe the new law passed in Connecticut surrenders basic rights of privacy from the 4th amendment which is states that we are “guarded from unreasonable search and seizure.” Also, school officials should not have any reason to punish students of their doing in the privacy of their own homes.

I think that Bullying and freedom of speech are two completely different things. Just because you have the right to say something hurtful and rude to someone else doesn't mean its right to do it. I think its a good thing that people are taking action and setting up laws to protect against harrassment and bullying so that people can feel safe and secure wherever they go knowing that someone isnt going to bully them because of how they look or their sexual orientation. However i think they are going a bit far by alowing schools to punish bullies because of something said on facebook or myspace.

Irving, TX
Bullying is never acceptable. Slamming heads against the lockers isn't a fun thing. The students who bully may think that it is just for the sake of having a little fun. But eventually that would turn into a habit. This also causes emotional distress and loneliness to the student who is being bullied. To those who bully, imagine if you were in the place of the one being bullied, wouldn't you feel the same way as the ones you are bullying? Bullying eventually leads to the emotional breakdown of a person, and the person will find a reason to kill themselves. This should not happen!! I totally agree with the Anti-bullying laws that were passed. Even if it has a controversy against the First Amendment, at least it will keep the bullies away. Bullies who defend themselves saying that they have the "Right to Speech", should also know that everyone else in this country is subject under the same Right as they are!

Mariah B.
Bullying has been a prevalent issue for decades, but in our current day and age, I believe it is, in many ways, worst than our parents' generation. Now, kids are equipped with new ways of bullying through technology. Cyber bullying is the worst, because it happens in the private of a bully's home, concealed behind a computer or a text, and she doesn't feel there is a consequence for her actions. Not only that, but the dynamic of bullying has changed; not only is "the nerd" getting bullied, but the "popular girl" is also being told she is too fat by her "friends," and the homosexual teen is being beaten for just being themselves. I do believe that some of the laws seem intense, but at the same time, I don't believe that the bullying will get any better without them. The reality is that some parents (or lack there of) are not encouraging the potential bullies to act with morals. On the contrary, the situations have gotten worse, and teen suicide more common. Those against the Anti-Bully laws say that they take away freedom of speech, but I say that amendment should be used to some discretion, especially if the bully is using that freedom to terrorize others mentally and emotionally. If the schools have decided to create these laws to stop the problem, great, but that is only half the battle. In order to implement these laws, schools have to cough up the money needed to try and stop the bullying.

In my opinion, the anti bullying laws are absolutely fair. Bullying is something that is just not acceptable. No freshman or anyone else likes to get bullied , either physically or through the internet. It just harms them so much that many of them get depressed and some of them contemplate suicide. Everyone wants and has the right to live and be in a safe and sound environment. No bully can go after a person because he thinks it is fun. That doesn't make the slightest sense. Those who get bullied are filled with insult and fear. Due to repeated bullies, they find it very hard to live their normal, happy lives. No bully, for any reason whatsoever, be it for fun or something personal, can bully another student.

Rosa L
First, everyone needs to watch what they say (like in kindergarten if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all) so they won't hurt others and themselves as well. It is true that the laws are in violation of the first amendment, it is hurting the other person's ability to pursue happiness. Bullies only become bullies when it has happened to them whether it be by a family member or another student. Even though they have been bullied themselves it does not justify bulling others and there should be consequences to their actions.

Irving, Tx
Bullying is a serious matter that many people are not really aware of. I agree with these laws and I think they are fair. So many people do not understand all the pain they suffer when kids are bullied. There is also many bullying on the web, so it is a good idea if the schools punish them. On the other hand, it is somewhat violating one of the amendments. Freedom of speech is in the constitution; it means anyone can say whatever they want. I understand that but I think they should respect others and think about what they say. In my opinion, there should be a law that limits freedom of speech. I think this would really help bullying and this way the law can punish them and not just the schools.

Waynesboro PA
Mr. Brown WASHS
Anti-bullying laws are most definitely necessary. Noone should have to be harrassed on a daily basis. So I am in total agreement with them. I believe that schools have the right to monitor the school bullying and give consequences accordingly, but they do not have the right to monitor cyber-bullying. Schools trying to completely solve the bullying issue is in my opinion rediculious. There is already enough problems going on tho have them take on such a task. Let the parents take on some of the responsibility. If your child is being cyber-bullied, do not let them on the social sites that they would get bullied on. Be proactive, not reactive. It is a two-way street. If you allow yourself to be a victim, than you will be one. I am just saying that the schools are not the only person that should be pighting the battle that is bullying.

Tambra B.
I think the new laws are unreasonable, not because of what they ask, but because they ask it of schools. I believe a schools responsibility stops at notifying parents, and stressing to children, in normal practices already in place at many schools, that bullying is wrong, and preventing bullying during school and on school property. Parents are responsible for a child’s morals, much more so than schools are or should be, and parents are responsible for a child’s conduct outside of school. I genuinely believe it constitutes a violation of freedom of speech for a school to censure or punish a student for comments that are not already protected against (libel and the like). It is, however, the responsibility of a student’s parents or guardians to teach their child how to act in polite society, and how to be an empathetic, rather than hurtful, human being. Not only do I believe schools lack the right to enforce moral codes beyond the law, I believe they lack the means. Teachers nationwide are given too much work, too many students, and too many responsibilities for those students as it is, and every year funding drops while need rises. It’s just not practical to ask schools to implement the new laws. If new anti-bullying laws are to be implemented, the schools involvement needs to stop at notifying another authority and protecting students within school bounds, in addition to the rules and regulations most school already have in place.

Bullying is wrong and has existed for a long time. Some students from the present and from the past have experienced distinct situations with bullying but majority have still managed to prevail in life. Bullying has also evolved through the years, some can support the case that in present time more students are vulnerable to attacks. Technology is so advanced and more communications devices are available for bullies to use. It factors into students all across the country and the world, but by applying specific laws just takes it too far. I understand that some students have suffered badly, sometimes unfortunately leading to death. Students rights shouldn't be affected by anti-bully laws.. The laws issued by schools are shifting laws that were given to all citizens, which one is freedom of speech. Its hard to limit students on what they should or shouldn't say, what they should or shouldn't do. They have the right to make their own decisions, but that doesn't mean they're doing the correct one. Bullying is more a social matter that can be dealt with in different ways and not with laws. Its not fair to students because by applying these laws, it doesn't assure full protection from bullies. Bullies will be bullies and laws won't change them.

Angelica R
Bradley/Nimitz HS
Of course bullying should be stopped. Just because a bully is not physically hurting another person doesn't mean it will not effect them. Some might say words don't hurt, but what people need to know is that they do. In some states administrators are complaining about the Anti-Bullying Bill, but what they need to do is put theirselves in these parent's shoes who have lost their children to bullying, I bet they would want something done then. I know I would hate for my eight year old brother to be bullied, and something happen to him. Whether it is physical or verbal bullying it still hurts and it needs to be stopped.

Waynesboro, PA
Mr. Brown
Some of these rules are very imporant because they keep the student body safe. School can controll bulling in school Some of these rules are very imporant because they keep the student body safe. School can controll bulling in school because thats the school job to keep the school safe for all the students that attend. Bot with siber bulling school should not get involed because it is not in the school gronds nor is it there job to do so. Kids have the freedom of free speech so they can have there own oppion on the people there talking about on the internet. Such as facebook or myspace it the person getting bulllyed fault if they listen to the herrasment they should annor it or go 2to some to see if they can solve the problem. comitting sucide is not the right way to handle a situation. Ithink the rules are fine in school because there trying to keep them safe but outside of school they can't help as much. And i think that is how it needs to stay.

Luz V
Bradley/Nimitz HS
The problem of bullying is a complex issue, victims must be protected but those doing the bullying are still citizens who are guaranteed their rights. Bullies do have the right of freedom of speech, that has to be protected as a fundamental right, the responsibility of stopping verbal abuse falls to the parents of the bullies to instill the morals in their children to not verbally attack other people and to the schools that play a major part in molding children to be considerate citizens rather than relying on the federal government to pass anti-bullying laws. What laws are made should focus on ending and correcting the practice of physical bullying, those laws are vital in order to set a standard for how people should ideally act, how bullying incidents should be handled by local authority, and what should follow a bullying incident (whether is be fines, expulsion for school, community service etc.) Laws play a vital part in keeping our society in check, but they can not fix a problem such as bullying – bullying has to be nipped at the bud by educating children about being considerate and how to properly manage their anger rather than taking their frustrations out on other people.

India B.
Bullying is wrong and it needs to be stopped. Period. My little sister and her best friend were attacked on their way home one day, and three weeks later the girls who beat them were back in classes, with multiple opportunities to commit violent acts again. And this wasn't their first offense. The vice principle said that he'd had reports of those girls hurting others, but in much less traceable ways. If anything, the verbal venom those girls spread about the school was more harmful than the physical violence they doled out. My sister was scared for the rest of the school year, and this was just one incident. There are hundreds of thousands of students across the country who have been subjected to much worse than this, and have suffered much more damage; sometimes so much damage that they lose the will to live. I don't believe in taking away peoples' freedom of speech, or any other right for that matter, under normal circumstances, but if that's the cost for the protection of students' lives, I don't think it's too much to pay.

Mr. Brown\WASH
Anti-bullying laws have been useful and effective in the past but I believe that they are beginning to go too far. The schools have a right to protect students from bullying inside of school but as for cyber bullying outside of school, the school should have no say. The cyber abuse should be reported to higher authority. While bullying is horrible and unacceptable students are allowed freedom of speech. If a student is becoming depressed or upset because of bullying they should report it and that is where the line should be drawn. If the students do not stop, further action should be taken by the schools. That is why I think these anti-bullying rules are becoming unreasonable.

Mr. Brown/Waynesboro Area Senior High
I believe these laws will make a safer environment for students everywhere who are being bullied. It will let them know that their safe and they won't need to commit suicide. Having said that, the laws still need to respect students right of freedom of speech outside school like on Facebook. It's defiantly not okay to cyber bully at all but they can still give their opinion if what they think. The problem is what would be considered bullying and opinions. These laws are not going too far as long as they let everybody express their feelings. Hopefully they will but an end to bullying in schools for good.

Waynesboro, PA
There is a huge difference between freedom of speech and bullying. You may have the right to say what you feel, but don't just say it to be rude and hurtful. There is a time and a place for everything. Placing laws in schools against bullying is a good way to help the percentage of bullying to lessen. But punishing bystanders may be taking it a bit too far. I've seen others other students being bullied and even though you aren't being harmed you still feel scared and when we are scared we don't always do what's right.

Mr.browm/waynesboro area senior high school
my opinion in all of this is that if your bullying ever affects someones life it is wrong. When the people start to consider or even comit suicide that the school and police should get in volved. Some may say that the laws are unconstiutional but in all reality there not like i said before wouldent you think that affecting someone else should be unconstituional. i think anti-bulying should start in the home and if your raised right you will acept people for who they are. People who bully should pay the price.

Waynesboro, pa
Mr. Brown Washs
I find that some of the rules for bullying do go too far and others not so much. I find the new regulations to be for bullying to reasonable because i believe its better to have rules that are a little more strict than none at all and having teachers be able to deal with it rather than let things go. But at the same time sending teacher to anti-bullying clinics and using school budget is a waste if the teacher could get fired for not fulfilling there duties to act during a situation when a student is getting bullied. I believe Conneticut's new cyberbullying law does violate the right to free speech, also i don't believe teachers should be able to punish students for posting or writing comments about other students on social networking sites outside of school grounds. My school does not have any new bullying rules ,and i think the rules at my school are completely fair and i hope they stay this way

mr.Brown/waynesboro area seinor high school
I believe that the new school bullying laws are not going too far. By those states having those laws they provide a more secure place at school. With these laws the students feel more safe and don't have to worry about being bullied everyday. The states are placing very fair regulations on school districts to safeguard against bullying . I think this because having these regulations give the students that were previously bullied a chance to focus on school . I don't think that these laws are imposing unreasonable demands without resorces . there are plenty of reasons as to why they are making these laws .I believe that cyber bullying is wrong . The law that Conneticut has made about cyberbullying does affect the students freedom of speech , but some students freedom of speech is not worth another student losing their life . at my school there are plenty of rules about bullying.

Waynesboro, PA
Mr. Brown/Waynesboro Area Sr. High School
I do not believe that the new bullying laws go too far. Our society was given a right to free speech, and they abused that right to the point of causing others to kill themselvs in hopes that what ever might become of them would be better then the life they have now. It is no ones right to harm others. physical or otherwise. If our fore fathers new at the time that the right to free speech would cause innocent children to take their own lives. They prabobly would have been more specific as to what that means. So It's about time that the internet started being monitored. I'm just suprised that it has taken so long to take place.

Waynesboro, PA
Mr. Brown/WASHS
Personally, I find some of these rules over-the-top. Bullying is definitely not a laughing matter, however, I don't think it'll go away, no matter how many new rules people make, nor how hard the go to enforce them. I don't think going to the extremes is the right approach. Bullying is unfortunately something that most likely won't ever go away. I think it is a good idea to take new bullying cautions in the wake of something as severe as suicide. Although cyber-bullying on something like facebook can be an easy way, I don't feel that the schools have the right to be able to interfere with students' personal life outside of school. Whenever people see bullying on websites, it's common sense for someone to stick up and report it. I think it is violating students by looking into what they do on their own time. On another note, I find the fact that they're punishing not only students for not reporting bullying, but also teachers rather unfair. If you were bullied and don't speak up, you can't expect the problem to get better. However if you see someone being bullied you SHOULD report it, but you shouldn't have to suffer consequences for not doing so. The discipline should be focused on the bully, and not innocent witnesses. Also, teachers losing their job over not knowing how to handle bullying situations is quite ridiculous. A mean kid shouldn't cost a teacher their job. In conclusion, although bullying should be taken seriously, I think we're taking things too too far, and just use common sense in situations like these. If everyone would be a little nicer, I think it could go a lot further. For example, current rules for my school are very reasonable as far as bullying goes. Taking precautions is a good step, but taking them too far; not so much.

Mr. Brown/ waynesboro
I say that the anti-bullying laws are both fair and unreasonable. Fair because bullying should not be done in the first place and if a person does it knowning the consequences or not believeing that they will get caught is their own fault and should be punnished. But it is unreasonable also because of freedom of speech in the constitution and also teachers and superintendants lose their licenses because they didnt take the right actions to stop the bullying. Also if someone gets bullied over the internet it is unlikey that they will tell someone, and it is even more unlikey that the person who is being the bullier will tell someone. So bullying is wrong either way but people still chose to do it because if they do they feel superior to others or the person they are bullying.

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Mr. Brown Waynesboro Area Senior High xchool
I believe that these laws will help make the school environment safer for students. I think all types of bullying are wrong and are disrespectful. However the whole teachers coming after students when there off school grounds is a little over the top. If it's happening on school grounds by all means punish them. But what they do outside of school is there business. It's also the victim of the bulling fault if they don't report it. This is part of the problem. They don't tell anyone then as a result they either commit suicide or feel like they mean nothing. On the other hand these types of things are a huge concern and need to be handled properly. But if the problem gets out of hand it is to be reported to a trusting adult. Then if it's that bad it needs to be reported to law enforcement. In my honest opinion the whole bullying thing could go either way.

Yes schools should have a bullying policy and no I don't think that they are going overboard this is a problem in schools everywhere. But schools policies can only go to a certain extent to prevent bullying. While you are at home your parents should be monitoring bullying especially if you are under the age of 18. Cyber bullying is another big issue and I think that schools should also have rules and policies for that as well. If there are going to be laws about bullying in school then shouldn't schools have funding for these programs?

Blue Ridge Summit, PA
Mr. Brown Waynesboro Area Senior High School
In my opinion, there is a bit of a fine line between too many rules and too few rules in a subject such as this. On one hand you could let the problem go too far and wind up wishing that you'd tried harder. On the other hand, if you push too hard, you will eventually begin infringing on peoples constitutional rights and just flat out start making ridiculous rules. I think that some of the rules are acceptable, like being punished for not reporting bullying. However, laws that limit what students can post and say outside of school are what passes the line for me. Also, I think that paying to institute new programs for teachers and students may be unnecessary, as they most schools have a guidance office thaat could take care of those problems. I'm not for bullying, but I'm also not for over protective laws.

Blue Ridge Summit, PA
Mr.Brown Waynesboro High School
I think that the in school regulations to prevent bulling is completely fair and they should be enforced in all school systems giving the fact that more deaths are occurring because of school bulling. Cyberbulling is completely different. I believe that it is holding us against our right of free speech. I am all for the in school no bulling policy but I think it is non of the schools business what we do out side of school, other then what the faculty assigns the students. If a student is getting hateful or harassing comments said out side of school then that person should report it to high authority.

The thought of being scared of going to school or going online with friends should not be on teen’s minds. But sadly it has become a problem for this generation. For the laws that states are putting in place, my opinion is that it should depend on what is being said or done. As an example if a child says that someone is acting or being stupid, that should be corrected but not punished. But if the bully is saying repeatedly that the victim is gay or something that is decimating the person should be punished and or given a strict warning. One thing that upsets me is that teachers get fired for small things and over things their students do! It is not only a punishment for the teacher but for their students too. It may be their responsibility to report it, but is not their fault if a child feels like they are being picked on beyond what they think is approiet. I don’t think the new laws are a demand on schools because the laws need to be enforced. I honestly don’t think that schools need funds to enforce rules? All they need is a force to show kids that bullying is powerful. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but our school staffs jobs it to help protect us. So if you think about it the kids are aloud to speak what they want they are just going to get punished for it. As far as my school they have yet to add new rules, but I don’t believe we at WASH need more.

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Mr.Brown/Waynesboro Area Senior High School
I couldn't even imagine a student between the ages of 13 and 18 commiting suicide. Bullying is inappropiate, and needs to be taken to extreme, drastic measure. I believe that the laws stated in this article need to be enforced as soon as possible. The rules definately DO NOT go too far. They simply make a point. I, for one, am strongly against the idea of bullying, and believe that no matter what your race is or what your gender is, we all have the right to be treated equal. What really got my attention was in New Jersey, classes for teachers and staff were being offered to train on handling situations involved with bullying. Knowing that the schools funds have immensely dropped, I can understand why some people may disagree with these classes being offered. But if the teachers really cared about their students, they would rather lose a few hundred dollars than lose a single student. The one thing that I don't agree on is the whole (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) situation. An innocent student may be breaking the law by saying or posting something online, and not even know it. But NO ONE can break the law, and if they do, there have to be consequences that follow. If the saying was meant to be intentional, than of course, that person should be punished. Maybe the requirements for cyber bullying could be brought down just a bit, and then I would have no problem agreeing with this whole article on bullying. In any school, bully rules are reasonable. It just depends how far the rule goes. Bullying is mean, cruel, and most of all.... wrong. If bullying doesn't happen, the better the experience of beginning a future.

Mr. Brown/Waynesboro area Senior High School
Here's what I think of the whole thing; it may be wrong to bully in any shape or form, but at the same time life never gets to harsh to commit suicide. Plus I don't think freedom of speech was not made to use to bully, so when a bully is saying he or she expressing his freedoms, I think that he or she is trying to get off the hook. In the bully's defense though, has anyone thought that the way their parents treat them has anything to do with it or even their peers.

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Mr.Brown/ WASHS
I think that it is ok for states to create laws to help protect students from bullying, but when it comes to punishing students for post on facebook and myspace i think that the state is out of line. The state attempting to punish students for post on social websites is similar to the U.S. government attempting to convict someone from a foreign country of a crime. They just have no buiseness doing so. Schools are meant to teach students not punish them, that is what the police department is for. If bullying is to be punished then its hould be punished by the state government not the schools. I belive that if something does not happen at school or take place on school grounds then the schools should not be able to punish students for there actions.

Jacob H.
School bullying has been extremely prominent for about 10 years now. It is even worse and mentally scarring perhaps than in the 1950's when “separate but equal” was overturned by the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka court case and the schools were forcefully desegregated. I say worse because there were a lot fewer cases of bully-influenced suicide during the 1950's than there are today. When the Constitution was written, Freedom of speech was thought to be more of a religious right than a right to make fun of someone until they hurt so much that they want to die. The world has so much more diversity these days that it is not hard to say something that would offend someone. But when someone is so persistent that they make the target want to kill themselves, something has to be done. I believe that whatever new anti-bullying laws are being passed, whether they seem to break the First Amendment or not, are for the good of the country as a whole because as we all know, teenagers and children are the future.

I personally feel that the bullying laws in place,were much needed. To many kids commit suicide over bullying. It has turned into a life or death issue. I don't think school officialls should be punished unless they fail to report bullying. Making teachers take classes,that cost money,won't help,it's their job to step in if the bullying gets out of hand. I agree with Connecticut's law. Even if it's outside of school,it still affects the victim in school. Specially when more students join in. My school doesn't have any new policies in affect. I hope it won't take a death, to correct them.

I do think that the new school bullying laws go too far. It is important that anti-bullying is stressed, but there's a limit on how far it should be. The states are requiring unreasonable demands without supplying materials to achieve them. Some schools cannot afford to do all of these things, and for teachers and superintendents to lose their licenses because of it is excessive. States really should take a second look on how they are handling the bullying laws, and try to make them more rational. For the cyberbullying, I do think they are violating students right to free speech, and our First Amendment. Anything outside of school should not be in anyway taken care of, or punished for by a school member in my opinion. It is not their job or concern, and is a students personal life. If there is bullying, or an individual is causing emotional/physical harm to another outside of school, that should be taken care of by an authority appointed to do so. It is vital to protect students, but also to keep our rights in mind.

Mr.Brown/Waynesboro Area Senior High School
I believe that these laws will prove to be useful in the future prevention of premature deaths of teenagers.I also believe that bullying is just completely wrong and should never be done to anyone,no matter who it is.If you wouldn't want to be bullied then simply don't bully someone else,because it's wrong.

After reading this, I can see that the rules for bullying are getting drastic. The new rules do , and don't go too far. I like that they're starting to get a little more stern with bullying, but what I don't like is the consequences for not upholding your duty to prevent, and restrain yourself from bullying. One thing I wasn't happy about was that teachers and superintendants are fired for not taking, and performing the correct none bullying techniques.One, not all schools have the funding to send all their staff to take lessons on how to stop bullying, and two it's completely unreasonable to fire a teacher for not telling a student to stop harrasing other kids. Another thing that puzzles, and frustrates me is that now the public and government are granting the schools power to punish and maybe even expel students for something they wrote or said on, i don't know, facebook or myspace, or maybe even twitter. One, what people do or say on those sights, global worldwide sites, is part of that persons freedom of speech and it's their bussiness. What they say on their is their's unless it threatens someone's safety. I personally think that if you make fun of someone on facebook, you're a coward because you had to say it on facebook and not to their face, and the schools should leave it at that. Now then, as I was saying, I think it's unfair to punish a kid at school because of something he said at home that got a kid afraid. I know that a lot of kids commit suicide over these kinds of things, but it isn't a fair solution to extremely punish bullies, and leave it at that, everyone needs to have a say. I do think that this violates the student right to free speech. My school doesn't have new bullying rules, and I'm glad because my schools rules aren't too drastic, maybe a little off here and there, but they're just fine to me.

mont alto/pa
lacey bennett
mr.brown/waynesboro area senior high school
i believe that bullying, no matter if its online or in person, is mean and shouldnt be done. these rules and laws are good because they help prevent teen suicdes, overdoses, and other things. i also agree that schools shouldnt be involved with student lives outside the school system and grounds. but still eveyone should keep in mind the goldern rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.

Waynesboro, PA
Mr. Brown
I do think that for an in school environment, these laws and regulations are completely reasonable and should be implemented into all school systems. It would prevent bullying where it is most common and personal. As far as the cyberbullying laws are concerned, I think they are a violation of our First Amendment right to free speech. What students do outside of school is their own business. If hateful or harassing comments reach a certain point they should be handled by law enforcement. I don't believe schools have any place in students' lives outside of school besides the work the teachers assign. Schools are here for a sole purpose and that is to educate kids. In school, the students fall under the jurisdiction and care of the school staff. Afterwards, what they do should be handled by a higher authority.

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