Resolved: Governments ought legislate anti-bullying policies focusing on sexual orientation.
Debate Rounds (5)
First round acceptance.
I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I must stand on the PRO side of this debate and affirm the resolution. In this debate, the overarching themes that I'm going to focus on are morality (with a strong focus on consequentialism) and societal welfare. With this ideal in place, I will move on toward my contentions.
Contention 1: Anti-bullying legislation focusing on sexual orientation is practical.
Because bullying leads to negative effects for the individual as well as society and bullying as a result of sexual orientation is so heavily common, a piece of legislation from government focusing on sexual orientation is heavily preferrable. The resulting effects from such legislation show us the practicality, and analyzing
Sub-point 1a: Bullying is common against members of differing sexual orientation, and this has severe negative effects.
Sexual orientation is certainly one of the largest reasons for bullying in the United States: "According to GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey, which polled more than 7,000 self-identified gay and straight students between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one from all fifty states and the District of Columbia from 2008 to 2009, 61 percent of all students felt unsafe at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation whereas only 9.8 percent of all students felt unsafe because of their gender and 7.6 percent of all students felt unsafe because of their race or ethnicity (Kosciw et al. 2010)." The methodology of this survey, by the way, is legitimate considering the largeness of the sample and how widespread it is throughout the United States, but the actual population size of the United States is still 10 times larger than the sample size. Other surveys conclude the idea that this is a problem: "LGBT youth regularly face insidious verbal and physical abuse. A recent nationally representative survey of LGBT teens by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that 84.6% of those surveyed had been verbally harassed, 40.1% had been physically harassed (pushed or shoved), and 18.8% had been physically assaulted (punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) because of his or her sexual orientation in the past year." The effects that come from such bullying are incredibly negative: "The detrimental impact of this climate is apparent in the host of negative outcomes that attend gay youth: LGBT children and teenagers report dramatically higher levels of depression and anxiety, as well as decreased levels of self-esteem relative to their heterosexual
peers. Of course, gay students are not inherently more likely to experience mental and physical harm; rather, it is “a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround[s] them.”
Sub-point 1b: Legislation is effective, and alternatives are few.
The many legislations in the United States after the suicides of 2010 prove the effectiveness of legislation against LGBT bullying: "Over the years, a small number of states have chosen to extend explicit protection to victims who are bullied based on enumerated personal characteristics. Although enumeration remains a minority position, the most recent spate of anti-bullying statutes offers a promising indication that this may be shifting. Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington—over half of the states enacting statutes in 2010—provide a list of prohibited bases for bullying behavior, including sexual orientation. These lists are uniformly nonexclusive,to highlight for teachers and school officials certain types of bullying as absolutely prohibited while still reaching bullying based on unlisted characteristics. New York’s statute, for instance, encompasses but is not limited to “conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.” Gay rights organizations strongly support enumeration, and research indicates that statutes that specifically identify sexual orientation as an impermissible target for bullying lead to a greater decrease in LGBT bullying than those statutes that do not. The Supreme Court, too, has stated that statutory “[e]numeration is the essential device used to make the duty not to discriminate concrete and to provide guidance for those who must comply.” Similar numbers of students report hearing homophobic remarks frequently in
schools with non-enumerated anti-bullying laws (74.3% of students) as in those with no laws at all (75% of students).
However, those enrolled in schools with enumerated policies experience less bullying, feel safer overall, and report that teachers are significantly more likely to intervene in instances of anti-gay bullying. These statistics underscore the tremendous potential for enumerated anti-gay bullying legislation to positively impact the lives of LGBT youth." Alternatives are few and ineffective: "The impact of an unwelcoming school climate is aggravated for students who lack a protective buffer of social support. Studies showthat positive parental practices protect adolescents from involvement in both bullying perpetration and victimization, but sexual minority youth are less likely to receive this support at home. Approximately one third of gay and lesbian teens have suffered verbal abuse or physical violence from a family member as a consequence of coming out, and one half have experienced some form of parental rejection. Although some theorists argue that being an “anonymous and diffuse” minority is beneficial to sexual minorities, it can also make it more difficult for LGBT youth to identify similar individuals, particularly within their own age group. Facing rejection at home and school because of their sexual orientation, LGBT youth may experience a “narrow view of the options available to deal with recurrent family discord, rejection, or failure [that] contributes to a decision to commit suicide.”"
Connolly, Lisa C. "Anti-Gay Bullying in Schools--Are Anti-Bullying Statutes the Solution?" New York University Law Review 87 (2012): 248-83. New York University. Web. <http://www.law.nyu.edu...;.
Thanks for setting up this interesting debate.
Morality of Law
When someone is punished for a crime, for instance life in prison for murder, their rights get violated. The very important question is, when does the government have a valid reason for violating someone's rights? The answer is, only when someone violates the rights of another. If a bully is calling another person mean names that is mean but should not be a crime. That does not mean there should not be other forms of punishment by the school and/or parents. If a bully physically assaults someone, that should be a crime.
Bullying is Bullying
If a bully were to punch a short kid because he was short and punch a gay kid in the same way because he was gay, it would make no difference. Both kids have been punched, the thoughts going through the bully's head at the time are of no importance.
"Contention 1: Anti-bullying legislation focusing on sexual orientation is practical".
It is far more practical to follow laws currently in place for assault. Assault laws apply to everyone and not just specific groups.
"Sub-point 1a: Bullying is common against members of differing sexual orientation, and this has severe negative effects.
Bullying is also common against small people and the effects can be just as severe. The reason for the bullying is not important, only the fact that bullying has taken place. If legislation is going to be passed in an attempt to deter bullying it should apply to all forms of bullying.
Sub-point 1b: Legislation is effective, and alternatives are few.
Legislation is almost always percieved as the answer to every problem when in fact, legislation is the cause of the problem in the first place. For example, imagine if schools operated like private businesses. They would not allow bullying because it would be harmful to their reputation if they were known as a school with a bunch of bullies. Art Carden wrote, "If there’s a solution, it’s competition. This would make schools accountable to those to whom they should be accountable: the parents and students they are supposed to serve. I predict that in a totally private market for education, schools that have reputations for being places where students are bullied for any reason will lose a lot of business and a lot of community support."
Morality of Law argument: There are several things that I'm not understanding about this particular argument, so I'll try to place them into a list form:
(1) First, my opponent says that someone should only have rights taken away when (s)he violates the rights of another person, but provides absolutely no context to rights. I'm not sure if my opponent is talking about Constitutional rights, human rights, etc. I would really like for my opponent to provide a context to these rights to better understand his argument.
(2) Second, it's important to state that no one is making the action of calling someone names a crime. Anti-bullying legislation in question is in focus for public schools in America and the demand for schools to follow a tighter protocol in order to deal with the situation of bullying against members of the LGBT community. No one is talking about tossing a bully into jail or something for calling someone else a racial slur in schools.
(3) Third, my opponent talks about how a bully should not be criminalized for making commentary like that, but at the same time, he promotes the idea of other forms of punishment by schools and parents. If you analyze this philosophically, my opponent is still advocating punishment of the bully for the use of slurs and whatnot when he just said that we shouldn't take away rights of citizens unless they have taken away the rights of others. This is probably the most important point out of all the rest because it implies that bullies at some level are still taking away rights by calling someone mean names consistantly and supports the idea bullies do indeed need to be punished for their actions.
"Bullying is bullying": This doesn't really make an impact in the scope of the debate considering that we're focusing on the bullying of sexual orientation, and the difference between punching the short guy and punching the gay guy is that punching the gay guy will constitute the more mainstream form of bullying in public schools. I'm not here to tell you that the concerns of one bullied person should be more prioritized than another, however. In fact, if you scroll back to my Sub-point 1b, you can see that legislation can be expanded in order to include physical attributes as well, which can include height. When the resolution is stating "focusing on sexual orientation," legislations can be expanded to include other forms of bullying. What is important is the explicit enumeration of bullying against sexual orientation in the legislation considering that this is the focus of the debate.
Assault laws: My opponent and I seem to agree on at least one thing: the assault aspect of bullying should be addressed with seriously, meaning that at least half a degree, bullying needs to be punished. The real clash in this debate seems to fall on the part where a bully is using slurs and verbal harassment on LGBT students as a form of harassment, and at the point where he stated himself that punishment is needed for the bully, it means that my opponent is already conceding to my case.
Sub-point 1a argument: I have already explained how legislation can encompass all forms of bullying. What is important as far as this debate is concerned is the explicit enumeration of bullying against sexual orientation.
Sub-point 1b argument: This is probably a really interesting argument to look at in the scope of the debate. First, my opponent states that legislation causes problems, and while he may be true in the scope of some legislation, he provides no reason as to why such a particular legislation on bullying would cause problems. If you look back to my case, I have shown you how the legislation has been effective at reducing bullying in schools. My opponent isn't arguing against this piece of legislation; he's just arguing against legislation. Second, my opponent is partially changing the scope of this debate from whether there should be legislation for public schools to whether there should be public schools. The question is this debate is whether the judges will look toward legislation over a change in the public school system. I, again, have provided evidence empirical showing the effectiveness of the legislation while my opponent gives you a theoretical perspective questionable at best. The reputation thing for schools running like business might work, but we have no real experimentations of that by my opponent, and there are so many precarious natures to this as well: What if the bully's parents are notable donors to the school and they might lose business? What if policies against bullying require the expense of more money they have no room to waste? Unless my opponent has empirics for this, we should focus on the legislation instead...simplifying the debate at hand.
E.BurnumIII forfeited this round.
All arguments are extended until my opponent makes any further arguments.
E.BurnumIII forfeited this round.
E.BurnumIII forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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