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OPINION

Bully Courts in New Jersey

Does this boy sound coached to you? According to the Daily Caller,

An eighth grader in the village of Ridgewood [NJ] who allegedly called a girl "horse," "fat" and "fat ass" is just one of a dozen cases that suggest the 2011 law went too far to criminalize bullying, according to The Star-Ledger.

The boy denied calling his classmate any name other than "horse."

"I never made any remarks other than horse," he said in his testimony. "I did not have any intent."

I've known teens. None of them use language such as "I never made any remaks..." or "I did not have any intent." Does this sound lawyer-coached to you?

Kids do stupid things. Thoughtless things. It comes with the territory, part of being young and thoughtless.

But as we understand it, state court trials are not the first step. First, the schools handle their own problems as a matter of discipline. Court does not come into play unless there is an appeal of a school decision.

The boy's parents aren't contending that their son is innocent, that the girl is lying about a nice young man who has never caused her a moment's trouble. I give them credit for that much. Their interest is that being held accountable for his bad behavior will hurt his chances for college. Sorry, parents. You're on track to raise a monster who has already gotten outside the basement laboratory confines, just to impress his friends with his ruthlessness.

Kids can be vicious. Every day in the United States, 68,000 students between 1st and 12th grades stay home from school, feeling threatened and endangered because some other mouthy punks have made school the very last place they want to go. They don't feel safe there. Isn't it time to tip the scales in the other direction, to penalize the perpetrators rather than the victims?

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell | www.Steve-Stewart.com/ChooseLife