Cyberbullying and the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys

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3 Responses

  1. Greg Lukianoff says:

    Just a terrific and thoughtful piece (though there seems to be a little formatting problem around the third paragraph). I will be tweeting this widely. America is prone to moral panic — so when an evil comes up that we believe is so great we need to throw free speech out the window, it’s always important to remember why we have the First Amendment in the first place. Bullying in its worst forms is a real problem, but the best way to ameliorate its effects is through a cultural process that I believe is already underway. These kind of rules unsurprisingly often end up being seized upon by high school administrators who are mocked by students — and, in that way, serve primarily as a tool to insulate the school’s management from criticism.

  2. Bergman says:

    Is the definition of what bullying is specific to students?

    If not, a fascinating test of the law might be to claim that infringing upon first amendment rights causes reasonable distress in someone, and creates a hostile environment.

  3. Derek Bambauer says:

    @Bergman: I think it’s individualized – the harassment / intimidation / bullying must have the effect of being insulting or demeaning to a student or students (among the other requirements). And I agree that the NJ law is crying out for a test case. I would love to see data on whether and how it is being enforced.