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Bethany Phillips
Mrs. Craig
Grade 8 English, Period 4
October 14, 2014
Should Cyber Bullying be prosecuted?
According to dosomething.org 90% of teens who have seen social-media
bullying say they have ignored it. Cyber bullying is the act of saying mean or hurtful
things to someone online. Sometimes cases of cyber bullying go too far leading in the
suicide of someone. It is these cases where people say that cyber bullying should or
should not be prosecuted. Those who cyber bully another individual should not be
prosecuted. Prosecuting cyber bullying violates the First Amendment and the
punishments have to equal the crime, but cyber bullying is not a crime. First off,
prosecuting cyber bullying violates the First Amendment.
When it comes to cyber bullying, kids and adults should not be prosecuted
because it violates the First Amendment. To begin, a handful of Democratic Senators say,
The First Amendment should be treated as a privilege, not as a right. If they were right
then the first ten amendments would not be called the ill of Rights. Since it is called that
if they passed a law to prosecute all cyber-bullying cases they would be going against the
Constitution when it states that all citizens have the right of speech. This entitles
everyone who is a legal citizen to say whatever they want to whoever they want. Next,
the issue with criminally prosecuting cyber bullying is the constitutionality
(www.timesunion.com). If they try and work around the constitutionality issue they will
run into another issue since it is impossible to say that someone can say whatever they
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want but then punish them when they say something mean. Not only does prosecuting
cyber bullies violate the First Amendment, but the punishments have nothing to do with
the crime.
Cyber bullying should not be prosecuted because the punishments should equal
the crime. For example, Those who have studied the relationship between bullying and
suicide know that it is very rare for bullying to directly cause ones suicide.
(Cyberbullying.us, Cyber Bullying Research Center). If the bully is not the one who ties
the noose or pulls the trigger, then they should not be labeled as the killer and punished
that way either. Furthermore, Manhattan district attorney said, We dont think
legislation is the best way to deal with cyber bullying. When kids talk to us and listen to
us, we make more progress than the police. (www.wnyc.org, Cy Vance Jr., Manhattan
district attorney). If someone pays a fine or goes to jail, there is nothing built to try and
stop them and they will just do it again and again, which gains nothing. Despite the
evidence, some people argue that cyber bullying should be prosecuted.
Some may argue that people should be prosecuted for cyber bullying when it
leads to the harming of oneself or others. First, If threatening messages to kill oneself
are sent by someone on school grounds the punishment should be raised to jail time,
(NY State Senator Jeffery D. Klein). An argument could have been occurring that the
authorities did not know of which could lead to unnecessary jail time. Lastly, the
defendant in a cyber bullying/suicide case knew the victim was depressed, suicidal, and
boy-crazy but she had still previously bullied the defendants daughter (www.amta.org,
Federal Attorney Thomas OBrien). The defendant was showing the victim what her
daughter had felt like, which ultimately ended up in the victim killing herself all because
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she had bullied the defendants daughter. That does not make a whole lot of sense since
that girl killed herself because she ultimately bullied someone else. Therefore, because of
these two reasons some people believe that cyber bullying should be prosecuted.
Cyber bullies should not be prosecuted. To start, cyber bullying is intentionally
saying hurtful or harmful things about someone online. Additionally, cyber bullying
prosecutions violate the First Amendment of freedom of speech. Moreover, if someone
does not kill someone then they should not be punished as if they did that. Finally, some
may argue that cyber bullying should be prosecuted since it can lead to the harming of
someone but studies have proven that cyber bullying rarely leads to suicide. Clearly,
cyber bullying should not be prosecuted since it will not stop the bullying issue and it is
not worth the time and money.