Carson mayor and City Council move to outlaw bullying


LA Times:

Carson mayor and City Council move to outlaw bullying

Alarmed by reports of teen suicides, elected leaders in Carson are moving to outlaw bullying.Under an ordinance that will go before the City Council next week, it would become a misdemeanor in the small Harbor-area city to cause anyone from kindergarten through age 25 to “feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” with no legitimate purpose.

The measure, which also covers cyberbullying, would give law enforcement officers the discretion to charge alleged bullies with a lesser infraction rather than a misdemeanor.
“So many kids don’t even understand the concepts behind bullying and how people manipulate and take advantage of other kids,” said Carson Mayor Jim Dear, a public school teacher who supports the ordinance.
Councilman Mike Gipson, a co-author of the measure, said the goal was to make Carson a “bully-free city.”

The measure was inspired by reports of teens committing suicide after being bullied, he said.
The proposed ordinance mentions the vulnerability of gay, overweight, disabled and gifted children to bullying. It cites “hurtful, rude and mean text messages” as a key form of cyberbullying, along with “spreading rumors or lies about others by email or social networks.”

From kindergarten to age 25? So under this regime one will live in a bully-free bubble then be thrust into the cruel, cruel world at age 26?


In the cruel, cruel world, there are laws against workplace harassment, for instance…


Good luck with that. Some of the biggest bullies are government agents, at all levels.


I would question how such a law could be written in anyway that could be prosecutable. Sure, terroristic threat, where one person actually threatens to do bodily harm to another can be prosecuted, but how does one prosecute based on causing feelings? Also, speech is constitutionally protected under all but very specific circumstances. It may not be popular, but one has the right to say mean and rude things about another person. We would not have political talk shows without this.

My other concern with this type of law is how easily it can be turned to where expressions of morality by people of faith can be said to be rude, and thus, illegal.


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