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December 01, 2011

Scott Greenfield: On Bullying, Cyber-Bullying and Real Life.

Life is Tough, Growing Up Hard, Legislation Expensive. At his enduring, highly-regarded, always-excellent and intermittently sensitive Simple Justice, see this one by Scott Greenfield yesterday: "When Bullying is Bull". Excerpts:

It's impossible to have any sort of reasoned discussion about bullying in the absence of a viable definition, and yet the conduct that is being swept into the mix continues to devolve. The overarching criterion seems to be conduct that is "hurtful," which leaves it to the person whose feelings are affected to determine that someone else is a bully. This can't be.

The issue isn't the mechanisms by which bullying occurs, even though the feds have an arguable basis for regulating these platforms or arenas. The issue is defining the conduct that comes within the parameters of regulation. The issue is that the teacups, the overly sensitive who are finally empowered to assert their feelings on the conduct of others, cannot be allowed to define wrongs based on their personal delicate sensibilities.

While most of us focus on this issue for only the few moments a high profile case arises, those who are behind the anti-bullying legislative thrust to vindicate their hurt feelings or further their scholarly niche are still busy at work pushing laws that would make most, if not all, of us and our children criminals. At some point, everyone hurts another person's feelings, whether deliberately or by benign neglect.

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New York City's Greenfield in early 2010, just weeks before start of sensitivity training regimen.

Posted by JD Hull at December 1, 2011 12:00 AM

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