CHARLOTTE — Should schoolyard bullies be punished at school? Or through the criminal justice system?
North Carolina Rep. Nick Mackey says treat them as criminals.
"Most bullying incidents are crimes and we need to look at it this way," he said. "I know a lot of people would … say 'That's kids being kids.' "
Mackey is among more than 50 co-sponsors of a House bill that would create a statewide policy on bullying. The measure doesn't call for specific sanctions. Instead it requires school districts to spell out their own "consequences and appropriate remedial action."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools adopted a bullying policy a year ago that sets guidelines for dealing with bullies, while generally giving school administrators some discretion.
"We want our response to always be appropriate to the offense, and for the most part I think we're doing a good job," school board chair Molly Griffin said Thursday. “We want our kids not only to be safe but to feel safe.”
Mackey, a freshman Democrat from Charlotte, filed a police report March 10 over one bullying incident. It says an unnamed 11-year-old student had food – Rice Krispy treats, fruit-flavored snacks , pudding and cookies – stolen from lunch, and had experienced similar thefts for two weeks.
Police Capt. Karl Bannerman said the case was referred to the district attorney's office.
Mackey e-mailed a dozen questions to school officials asking for a copy of the bullying policy as well as statistics on the number of incidents and complaints at the school involved.
Mackey declined to offer details about the incident, or his relationship to the victim.
Read the full story at CharlotteObserver.com