If you are prosecuting alleged bullies
If you have been hired to prosecute bullies or their schools or employers, there is some real help Bullies to Buddies can provide, though we cannot help you make your case in court. We believe that anti-bullying laws are a mistake, for they criminalize any behavior that can upset anyone else. Most of these behaviors are protected by our Constitution. Behaviors like insults, rumors, social exclusion, or kids hitting or pushing each other but without causing physical pain or injury, are normal behaviors that most people engage in and should not be criminalized. They cause subjective harm, not objective harm. For example, while one person may be deeply offended by an insult, someone else may shrug off the same insult as if he never heard it. And how can we make bullying a crime whe the very act of prosecuting someone is an act of bullying?
Furthermore, anti-bullying laws are also based on the scientifically invalid assumption that victims of bullying have nothing to do with the way they are treated. Another problem with anti-bullying laws is that they hold schools and employers legally responsible for the way students and employees treat each other. Putting such responsibility on schools and employers is both absurd and immoral. Would you like to be prosecuted when other people don’t know how to get along with each other? If a crime has been committed, sue the criminal, not their school or employer. And that crime should already have a name, not the vague term, “bullying,” which can apply to any behavior that someone doesn’t like.
If you take your client’s school or employer to court, that is not going to earn your clients and their families any appreciation or respect from the school or employer. They will suffer many months of sleepless nights, and there is no guarantee that you will win in court. The only thing you can be certain of is that your efforts will have created tremendous hostility between your clients and their schools or employers.
So how can Bullies to Buddies help you?
If you represent victims of bullying and you truly want to help them, the best way is to have them learn how to solve their problem on their own. We at Bullies to Buddies can teach almost anyone how to quickly stop being bullied, and with little expense. Of course, you will not make a bucketful of money for referring your clients for such help, but you will be giving them the help they truly need. You will earn their gratitude, and your conscience will reward you for doing the truly moral thing.
If you are defending alleged bullies or their schools/employers
If you are a lawyer defending alleged bullies or their schools or employers, we can give you better ammunition than you will find anywhere else. We believe anti-bullying laws are a terrible mistake, for they criminalize ordinary behaviors that we all commit, and these laws ultimately cause more harm than good. True crimes already have names, and people who committed them should be prosecuted. True crimes cause objective harm to bodies or property, while most acts of bullying cause subjective harm, meaning that the victim has upset him/herself over the way s/he was treated. Bullies to Buddies is only concerned with defending clients who have not caused objective harm to others. We are also concerned with defending schools and employers from anti-bullying lawsuits, for it is absurd and immoral to hold them responsible for the way people get along with each other.
If you look for help to experts in bullying, the social sciences or education, you will probably come up empty-handed. They almost universally believe that anti-bullying laws are just– that bullies and their schools or employers should be punished.
There are numerous way we can help you defend your clients.
You can refer to our survey of thousands of mental health professionals and educators. It reveals that their own kids are four times more likely to be hit every day by a sibling at home than by another student in school. They are twice as likely to be called names daily by a sibling than by a student. If one or two parents– experts in child behavior– can’t get their own few kids at home to stop bullying each other, how can a school with hundreds or even thousands of students be held legally responsible for this? And it is similarly absurd to expect a company to get rid of all the bullying among personnel. To illustrate the double standard, you should ask the plaintiff’s lawyers, or even the judge (if s/he allows it), if they have succeeded in getting everyone in their families to be nice to each other all the time.
Then there is the scientific research. Victims of bullying always claim that the bullying continued because the school or employer “did nothing” to make the bullying stop. This claim is generally untrue. The schools and employers do try to make the bullying stop, but when they get involved in the bullying between people people it usually doesn’t help or even makes the problem worse. In almost every famous bullying case that went to court, the hostilities escalated after the school or employer got involved trying to make the bullying stop. Psychology’s “dirty little secret” is that anti-bullying programs are usually worthless– or worse. Present the court with the research conducted by psychologist David Smith, PhD, and published in the Dec. 2004 issue of the School Psychology Review. He found that the great majority of anti-bullying programs either produced no benefit or made the problem worse! Three more recent studies looking at all the research on anti-bullying programs have the same uninspiring findings. Furthermore, these research studies don’t even consider the harm caused by these programs. So if anti-bullying programs can’t get rid of bullying, how can a school or company be held legally responsible for failing to stop children or employees from being bullied? How can they be accused of “doing nothing” when “doing something” is likely to make the bullying increase?!
And you can present plain logic to the court. There’s a simple reason why anti-bullying policies are so ineffective:
“Let’s say you and I are kids in school. You bully me, and then I tell the teacher, and you get sent to the principal and/or guidance counselor for bullying me. Is that going to make you like and respect me? Of course not! It will make you hate me. You’re going to want to beat me up after school, or try to get me in trouble with the school by telling them that I am bullying you.” And the same thing happens if we are adults in the workplace–when we get the authorities involved, the hostilities escalate.
For a more detailed explanation of why typical adult interventions to stop bullying between kids doesn’t work, read my website manual, A Revolutionary Guide to Reducing Aggression between Children.
Ask the court if schools and employers are allowed to deny education to children or employment to adults who have a potential of being involved in bullying (which is virtually all of them)? If schools and employers are going to be held legally responsible for making sure no one bullies each other, they should be permitted to screen prospective students and employees by giving them tests for bullying prone-ness and refuse to accept them. Since schools and employers are not permitted to do such psychological screening, how can they be held responsible for the bullying committed by the students and employees they are legally required to accept?
There is another tactic you can take. Anti-bullying laws are based on the idea that victims have nothing to do with the way people treat them. You can demonstrate to the court that this is scientifically unfounded. The best way is with a live demonstration showing that the bully/victim dynamic is not a one-way street, but that the behavior of the victim is actually encouraging the bully to continue harassing them. In fact, the alleged bully is likely to feel like the victim of the official victim. If you are not able to do such a demonstration on your own and are not able to bring a Bullies to Buddies expert to court to perform the demonstration, you can show the court clips from our video programs that demonstrate this phenomenon.
For more ideas how to defend yourself in court, refer your legal staff to the following articles on this website:
• Why Your Anti-Bully Program Is Not Working
• Why Psychology is Failing to Solve the Problem of Bullying
• Why Anti-Bullying Laws Are Doomed to Fail
• The Insanity of Workplace Anti-Bullying Laws
• The Insanity of School Anti-Bullying Laws
• Japan Devastated by Western Anti-Bully Virus
• James Garbarino (Unwittingly) Declares the Failure of Psychology to Deal With Bullying
• School Responsibility for Teasing and Bullying?
• A Victory for Lawyers in New Jersey
To discuss bullying issues with us, call us at 866-983-1333 or email us at Miriam@Bullies2Buddies.com
Please feel free to contact us with any questions at 866-983-1333 or Miriam@Bullies2Buddies.com