Defense of Those Accused of “Bullying”
Cambridge Juvenile Lawyer
With the recent passage of anti-bullying legislation, our State legislature has criminalized childishness. While no one condones harassing behavior that drives the targeted individual to take her own life, the anti-bullying law is little more than a legislative absurdity drafted by preening politicians eager to curry favor with a public appalled by a heartbreaking event.
Moreover, the legislation casts such a wide net and is so broadly written that there remains little annoying or even mildly offensive conduct that does not fall within its parameters. For example, it defines “bullying” as:
. . . the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
No other Massachusetts criminal statute is so determinedly vague in its language while so suffocatingly comprehensive in its coverage – and, therefore, so easily abused by law enforcement.
If your son or daughter has been charged with “bullying,” deciding to whom you can trust to aggressively and intelligently defend him or her is a weighty decision. Cambridge, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer Kevin J. Mahoney has been representing juveniles for nearly 20 years in the juvenile courts of Boston, Cambridge, Dedham and Framingham. He not only earns the trust of parents but, with patience and perseverance, the trust of the young men and women entrusted to him to defend. Contact us at 617-492-0055 to arrange a free in-office consultation.