Hello, Hola, Ohaiyo, Annyeong, Nihao, G’Day, Bon Jour, Hallo! (that is all of them I know.) 🙂
Hard cases make bad law and this is dangerous ground. I am sorry for the girl’s death and disgusted at the others’ behavior. That being said with proper emphasis, this is not okay. First, there are laws for physical assault and battery. They can and should be applied both civilly and criminally. Second, making children criminally liable for the mental health of another child is a huge legal leap not previously contemplated by any legislature to my knowledge and that is where laws should change. Then add the potential for charging these children (brats admittedly but children none the less) as adults. Or consider applying this law to preschoolers. How about a five year old who tells another they have cooties. “We aren’t talking about that stuff,” you say. I say look at the zero gun tolerance applications we see in the news every day. Third, back in the day “sticks and stones….” would be the rule, and it would be up to the adults (parents) in the life of the picked on child to help them develop the strength of character to overcome the words of others. Mean words are a fact of life. “Well they shouldn’t be,” you say. “If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there’d be not work for tinkers’ hands.” Mean people say mean things…heck, kind people get mad and say mean things. Fourth, this child took her own life. She is responsible. The charge that her friends drove her to rob a bank would not absolve her of responsibility for her own actions. Then we get to charging the parents. Are parents charged if the child wrecks the car? No. Are parents charged if the child deals drugs? No. Do you really want to go down this path? ” Well, they should have supervised the children better,” you say. The child took her own life. She is the murderer here. (Suicide is self-murder.) So her parents should have supervised her better, too. You see where this goes? Do you really want some sheriff deciding to charge the parents of a dead child? How about you being charged because your seventeen year old foster child jumped off the bleachers to scare the girl he had a crush on, but she fell and hit her head. “We aren’t talking about that!” you scream. Again, look at the applications of zero gun tolerance as it is applied today. It will go there. Just a thought.