I found a sad story about Revenge Bullying that came out of Colorado. The Denver Post reported that an 8th grade boy was picked on and beaten by some classmates, because he has a German name. Adrian Ulm was called a Nazi and beaten so badly he had to be hospitalized with broken bones and a head injury.
Now the interesting part is that the justice system says that this cannot be declared a Hate Crime. How can that be? The argument made in this case is that Adrian fought back. The boy who beat him up wanted to fight and Adrian decided to defend himself in order to make the bullying stop.
Now he has a hospital bill and no recourse. This just doesn’t seem right to me. If tables were turned or the case was presented differently, then I believe it would end up in court as a hate crime. In the Denver Post article, it goes on to say:
His attacker won’t face criminal charges, because Adrian voluntarily took part in the fight, the Ulms were told. But a 2-year-old amendment to Colorado’s hate-crime laws could make Adrian’s assailant the first youth in Colorado to be sued for punitive damages on the basis of school bullying.
“I would definitely describe this as a hate crime,” said Adrian’s lawyer, Gregg McReynolds, who has not made a decision about a suit…
David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, agrees it’s important for schools to take bullying seriously.
“You need lots of options,” he said Monday. “But first, you need a criminal-justice system and a school system that takes it serious.”
I agree that we need fairness in the system, but more importantly, we need a system that takes these things seriously.