Friday, March 12, 2010

The Thing from the Boggy Swamp writes about anti-bullying legislation

Jimmy Dale, Jr.: "Why do I do it? 'Cause it's fun!"

MARCH 11, 2010
Anti-Bully Laws Stall as Young Toughs Pummel Lawmakers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. When state senator Bob Reisdorph (D-Pettis County) was a teenager, he was teased unmercifully by a boy whose name and face are etched in his memory. "Jimmy Dale Embree would wait for me to come out of Garst's," a 50's-style drive-in restaurant in Sedalia. "Then he and his gang would throw ketchup packs at me," staining Reisdorph's clothes and, more importantly, his sense of self-esteem.

Four decades later, Reisdorph is fighting back the only way he knows how; by filing legislation to create penalties for bullying, and making "aggravated" bullying punishable by jail, with no ability to avoid prison by paying a fine. "We as a society have got to stand up collectively to bullies, since there are so many who are unable to do so individually."

The bill is the sort of feel-good legislation that ought to pass both houses of the legislature in a breeze, as has been the case with similar laws in twenty-seven other states. There's just one problem: "Jimmy Dale Embree, Jr.", Reisdorph says as he looks warily over his shoulder before dashing to his car, which is parked in a reserved space outside the state Capitol...

[Maura Larkins comment: There is indeed a Pettis County in Missouri. HERE is a list of state senators.]

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