Bully Beware


Even before the criminal bully statute was enacted, one DA office charged a bunch of teens for bully.  The alleged facts that surround the case are tragic and it ended with several teens being charged.  This case itself is quite interesting in the respect that it is the first time that teens are charged for this type of crime. 

 In the past and currently, there are intense debates regarding responsibility and ways to stop bullying.  Now, for the first time, teens are criminally charged for the bullying actions they committed on another individual.  This case is also interesting because it occurred prior to the new bullying law being enacted.  For the most part, it is unconstitutional to prosecute an individual based on a law that wasn’t in effect at the time of the offense.  As a result, the teens charged cannot be charged under the new bullying statute. 

There are still a lot of different types of charges one can be in violation of by bullying another individual.  One example is a person could be violation of the criminal harassment statute.  The harassment statute is not specific for bullying situations, but the elements of the crime usually fit.  In order to prove harassment, the state needs to show that the conduct happened more than once.  Bullying usually happens over a period of time and that usually isn’t much of an obstacle for the state. 

It will be very interesting to see what the defendants end up receiving as a punishment in this case.  This is unchartered territory and this case can be an example for others to take up similar prosecutions.  It is will also be interesting to see if these types of prosecutions will end the type of behavior that results in irreversible harm to victims.  Whatever the result of this case, hopefully the prosecutions of them will end the type of victimizing behavior instead of continuing to hinder school children. 

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For more information:
Fox News on teen bullying

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/29/charged-bullying-massachusetts-teen-killed/

 Boston Globe on teen charged for bullying

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/30/da_charges_9_teens_faults_school_officials_in_s_hadley_bullying_case/

 NY times on 6 charged for bullying

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/us/30bully.html

 MA Anti-bullying bill

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/mass_senate_approves_anti-bull.html

 MA senate anti-bullying bill

http://www.bullypolice.org/ma_law.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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