In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 22, 2008 / 19 Tamuz 5768

Bullying's day in court

By Jonathan Turley

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mathew Mumbauer, 11, never saw it coming. One moment in early March, he was walking down the stairs at Brickett Elementary School in Lynn, Mass. The next moment he was lying at the bottom of the stairs. He was left paralyzed and on a ventilator. Mathew's parents blame bullies who had been hounding Mathew for most of the year.

Mathew is only the latest victim of bullying in our schools, and some parents are turning from the schoolhouse to the courthouse to seek relief. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of students are anxiously counting down the days left in summer and the approach of another bullying season.

With the advent of the Internet, YouTube and MySpace, bullying is becoming more prevalent and more lethal —allowing bullies to move from playgrounds to cyberspace in pursuit of their prey. While the number of bullying lawsuits is unknown, some high-profile cases are focusing attention on the national problem.

Dealing with bullies has long been treated as just part of "growing up," a natural and even maturing element of childhood. Encounters with the ubiquitous bully in movies and literature are treated as a type of rite of passage, particularly for boys. From "the Ogre" in Revenge of the Nerds to Scut Farkas in A Christmas Story, the bullies always lose when you simply stand up to them, right?

Perhaps, or you can end up dead. Across the country, schoolchildren have been killed after standing up to bullies in places as wide-ranging as West Paducah, Ky., Edinboro, Pa., and Jonesboro, Ark.

Being a bully remains a popular choice for students, particularly in middle schools, where bullying often peaks. A 2004 survey by KidsHealth found that 40% of children from 9- to 13-years-old admitted to bullying. Another recent study prepared for the American Psychological Association showed that 80% of middle school students admitted to bullying behavior in the prior 30 days. Like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, a child can become a collective target — the object of a natural juvenile inclination to subordinate and isolate individuals. Just ask 15-year-old Billy Wolfe in Fayetteville, Ark.

At some point, high school bullies made him a type of collective sport prey. They even filmed the hunt. One video shows a boy spontaneously announcing that he is going to beat up Billy Wolfe in front of Billy's younger sister, walking up and punching him at a bus stop.

Billy's beatings were triggered years ago after his mom complained to the parents of a bully. The next day, the boy presented Billy with a list of 20 names of boys who signed up to beat him up. Attacks would occur at any time and any place — the bathroom, shop class, the school bus — with one requiring that Billy receive medical treatment.

This is not the first lawsuit involving Fayetteville and bullying. The district was previously sued after a student was savagely beaten for being gay. In a similar case in Kansas City, Kan., a jury awarded Dylan Theno $250,000 against the Tonganoxie School District for years of bullying due to the false rumor that he was gay.

As the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier showed the nation, Internet sites such as MySpace have opened up new opportunities for cyberbullying. Megan's suicide was allegedly triggered by an adult neighbor, Lori Drew, pretending to be a 16-year-old boy who not only dumped her but also initiated a cyberpile-on by other kids. A 2008 study of more than 40,000 adolescents by the Rochester Institute of Technology revealed that 59% of cybervictims in grades seven to nine were bullied by kids whom they knew.

The social costs of bullying are often ignored. A federal study found that 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24. Bullying is also routinely tied to suicide attempts, drug abuse, and drop-outs or worse, violence by the victims.

In Littleton, Colo., the killers at Columbine High School in 1999 had complained about being bullied. In Hoover, La., Felicia Reynolds sued the school district after her son, Ricky, stood up to an alleged bully named Sean Joyner after years of complaints to officials at Hoover High School. After being removed from the school due to a separate incident, Sean was allowed to return and fought with Ricky. Sean died from a knife wound, and Ricky was put away for 20 years. Unlike the Hollywood formula of bully movies, when the Karate Kid in real life stands up to bully Johnny Lawrence, he ends up doing one to five years in the county jail.

While many will chafe at the notion of moving from hall monitors to personal injury lawyers, litigation could succeed in forcing schools to take bullying more seriously.

The first step, however, is to dispense with the image of bullies as mere Scut Farkases waiting to be challenged and conquered. Bullies are not adverse object lessons for an educational system; they are the very antithesis of education. They are no more a natural part of learning than is parental abuse a natural part of growing up. That is one lesson Mathew Mumbauer learned all too well.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Turley is a law professor at George Washington University. Click here to visit his website. Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Jonathan Turley