Are anti-bullying laws violations of the First Amendment?

Asked by: dvora
  • Bullying vs Stalking and Harrassment.

    Saying mean things is very much protected under the 1st Amendment no matter how much soft hearted folks want to say it's not. If I call someone a bad name in passing that's my right. If I actively seek out an individual and harass them that's completely different. That falls under most stalking laws and the actions are beyond the realm of the 1st Amendment. Eventually a very wealthy child will get charged with bullying and once it ends up in the Supreme Court we'll see the anti-bullying laws based solely on language is actually protected.

  • 1st Amendment Rights

    Like it or not, there are going to be people who will criticize or harass you. You have to learn to deal with this yourself, not let a higher authority figure do so, because he or she might not always be there for you. Besides, figures of authority cannot arraign or arrest someone because he or she is criticizing you. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives that person, and every other American citizen, the right to say whatever about whomever they so desire.

    As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it."

  • Don't we have freedom of speech?

    While I personally am very anti- bullying and am in favor of anti- bullying laws, I believe that they are unconstitutional as they violate a person's right to free speech. On the other hand, one could argue that bullying itself is also a violation of said amendment, as everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness. However, I would think that anti- bullying laws - rather than bullying itself- would be looked down- upon by the Constitution because free speech is outright guaranteed in the document; the pursuit of happiness, while listed in the Constitution, is different for each person (meaning different people can find happiness in different things), while free speech is uniform.

  • We should be encouraging victims to stand up for themselves

    Bullies will always be around, like it or not. So why waste time trying to achieve the impossible when we can be helping kids to grow a pair and stand up for themselves. I was a victim of bullying and looking back now, if someone would've told me to stand up for myself i would've saved myself a lot of humiliation. On top of this bullying does not cause anything so why are the laws on it? When people are "insulted" they make the decision on how they want to respond to it. I to this day am picked on here and there but i don't come home depressed or wanting to kill myself!!! I laugh it off and go on with life like there's no tomorrow?

  • Bullying is harassment.

    The definition of harassment is aggressive pressure or intimidation. Isn't this also the definition of bullying? Aggressively insulting a person is harassment and this is not protected by the first amendment. Bullies don't simply say their opinions about people, they do it in an aggressive manor to intimidate the person.

  • Depends on the legal definition of bullying

    All the cyberbullying and cyberstalking statutes I have seen are vague and overbroad. They punish speech and communication that is protected by the First Amendment. They also chill legitimate speech because in many cases people -- like me -- have been prosecuted simply for posting in public forums information that irritates someone, who then runs and gets a warrant. These warrants are cranked out like chiclets at a chiclet factory.

  • Harassment isn't protected

    There is a difference between criticism and bullying. Bullying targets a person to demean them in some fashion. Although there are different levels to bullying, all are forms of harassment which is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Although one may have free speech, that does not mean there will be zero punishments for words said or typed. Bullying can lead to self harm, suicide and scar a person to the point of mental illness.

  • No violation what so ever

    Bullying is a form of harassment. It's not used to have 'freedom of speech' toward someone. Bullying is not a form of expressing your opinion, it just a way to put kids down, or to humiliate them. Anti-bullying laws protect children. These laws are placed to ensure a child or adults safety. Why would you take that away?

  • Listen America now!

    We are allowed absolute free speech in America not including sedition or in other words trying to get people to rebel against the government, and even then we do not seem to understand the defininiton of bullying. Bullying is repeated forms of harassing or taking down of ones self esteem after they have asked you to stop.

  • Freedom of speech is absolute. All censorship, sedition laws,treason laws etc. are unconstitutional.

    You do not have the right to not be offended. Everyone is going to be offended by something someone says,prints, and/or communicates. Deal with it. My headline here sums up the rest: anyone needs to be able to say whatever they choose, whenever they choose, as loud as they choose, whenever they choose Always. Including school age children whilst they are in class even. Period. There is no legitimate counter argument for this. Individual human (not corporate) freedom is the most important concept ever considered by humans. Freedom at all costs. If you do not want your child to kill themselves over being bullied, then raise them to have thicker skin.

  • Nope- sorry, bully protectors.

    The problem here is that people equate "bullying" with "free speech". It is not. Bullying is a form of harassment, which is not protected by the First Amendment.

    The Supreme Court has recognized "fighting words" as an exception to free speech. Inflammatory words that either incite violence/break the peace or are BY THEMSELVES INJURIOUS are not necessarily protected speech. This is also the case for true threats, which was established by cases such as Watts V. United States, and defamation or libel. Perhaps the most relevant is that words used intentionally to cause emotional distress are not protected- covered by the infamous Hustler Magazine V. Falwell case.
    Since bullying often falls under one or all of these auspices, bullying isn't protected by the First Amendment. Moreover, the Supreme Court case Tinker V. Des Moines Independent Community School District specifically laid out that student speech is not to be censored unless there is "substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others"- that fits bullying to a tee.

  • They aren't violating anything.

    I'm in middle school but bullying isn't protected by the first amendment. It's like shouting fire in a crowded theater for fun that is not protected by the first amendment. It is the exact same thing as that just that this time it is repeated. Why would anti-bullying laws violate the first amendment if it truly in not violating anything.

  • They aren't violating anything.

    I'm in middle school but bullying isn't protected by the first amendment. It's like shouting fire in a crowded theater for fun that is not protected by the first amendment. It is the exact same thing as that just that this time it is repeated. Why would anti-bullying laws violate the first amendment if it truly in not violating anything.

  • When is enough, enough?

    The First Amendment was not put in place so that people could use words to harm others. If we look over the past decade or so, many have lost their lives because someone decided to take the law into their own hands because of BULLYING. It is a real issue and all though we have to learn how to deal with certain criticism, when does it become to much? How many more deaths will occur before something is put in place. Bullying is not "Freedom of Speech." It is a quest of cruelty and harass punishment for those it targets.

  • Bullying is a crime.

    People think that its okay to bully others, but all you are doing is hurting them and/or making them feel the need to hurt themselves. I don't agree with completely taking away rights to freedom of speech but I feel that they need to at least limit the laws to harass and hurt people enough to make them hurt themselves.

  • That's like saying slander, liable, harrassment and assault shouldn't be against the law.

    People can't go around destroying other people's lives with impunity. The limit of free speech is where it interferes with the rights of others. Look it up. Otherwise there can be no enforcement of ANYONE'S rights. There would be no legal way to do it. People need to start wrapping their heads around that.

  • Bullying in America

    I do not think it is a violation of the first amendment because you are doing to prevent bullying from happening. Believe it or not most of America is unaware that serious bullying issues are still in our schools. There are even some cases where kid have committed suicide. Even if there was a violation then it would be for a greater good that could even save a life.

  • Bullying is Harassment.

    When you bully someone it is harassment. No one should be bullied. All of the Anti-Bullying laws are here to protect people. Some people think that people should be able to "handle" the bullying by ignoring it or telling a trusted adult. But for some kids that is not enough. These laws help people/kids. I think these laws are helpful and are not a violation of the First Amendment.

  • Bullying is not freedom of speech!

    The first amendment states that citizens have the right to freedom of speech. Bullying is harassment. There are many forms of bullying, yet that does not mean that people can harass someone by using harmful words. Expressing your opinion about someone is fine, as long as you are not causing harm or hurting someone physically or mentally. Freedom of speech allows you to speak your opinion about a topic you agree or don't agree with. NOT to hurt someone else. Anti- bullying laws are not in violation of the first amendment, as they are protecting people from being bullied across the United States. Bullying is flat out wrong, and should not be tolerated by anyone.

  • With Freedom of Speech Comes Great Responsibility

    Even though freedom of speech is part of the first amendment, our forefathers did not intend for the law to protect bullies. Freedom of speech is a gift and a curse. You have the ability to speak your mind but speaking your mind the bully's do, degrading others self esteem in order to make themselves feel superior.

Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
Infonymph says2014-12-06T21:23:27.480
Please stop deleting mentions of sexual assault that are often part of bullying. If you neglect sexual factors that are involved, you are neglecting important parts of the issue. It is not inappropriate or pornograph. Its part of life.