Supposedly, cracking down on bullying is now a priority within the American education system. After all, how can a child learn if s/he is constantly the subject of torment? And what type of society turns a blind eye to bullying, anyway? Well, apparently the South Fayette High School exists in just that type of society. When a student took audio recordings of being bullied, the Principal called the police and had the student charged with wire tapping.
Special-needs child charged with wire tapping
The school also deleted the audio recording itself. Despite the lack of evidence, however, this did not stop police and the local legal system from bullying the student even farther. The student was charged with a felony account of wire tapping because Pennsylvania is one of twelve states that requires the consent of all parties when making a legal record.
Given that the recording was not used to blackmail the students or to provide anything further than basic proof that bullying was indeed occurring, it seems questionable that the student could be charged. Should people recording a breaking and entry, shooting, or any other crime be required to stop and ask the perpetrators if they are okay with being recorded? On even the most basic level, this doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Luckily, the mother transcribed the child’s torment. Among other things, other children called him various swear words relating to female genitalia and threatened him with a book.
Also of note, the bullies were never charged or punished.
Bullying remains major issue in America
Despite frequent proclamations by school administrations and public officials that they will crack down on bullies, the issue remains serious. Bullying is believe to affect one in three children between grades 6 and 10. And a staggering 83 percent of female children and 79 percent of males report having experienced harassment.
Further, six of ten teenagers report seeing an incident of bullying at least once per day, while it’s estimated that 160,000 children miss school in a given day due to fear of an attack or intimidation by other students. One out of ten children end up dropping out of school completely due to bullying.
Department of Education promises response to bullying
Across the country, politicians have offered tough words and promises to protect children from bullying. The Department of Education has also made it clear that Civil Rights laws apply in cases of bullying.
The White House also launched a government website, StopBullying.Gov, but beyond offering smiling pictures of happy children and parents, there appears to be little in the way of resources on the site. For now, at least, it appears that bullying will be the subject of strong words but little action, unless of course, you count arresting and charging a child with wire tapping for recording his torment as a form of “strong action.”