At a recent seminar on bullying,  a police officer recommended banning teens from using cell phones that text or use social media as a principal method of preventing bullying. 

His suggestion won't work.

To be clear, I am completely on board with the notion that the proliferate use of cell phones and social media by teens is a decidedly negative thing; it inhibits the natural growth they need in terms of personal, face-to-face interaction. But his suggestion also ignores the reality that this particular ship has already left the port. It's already too widespread.

More important, this well-meaning officer's suggestion fails to address the underlying - and much bigger - issue: cell phone and social media use are but two different media that can be used to bully; he doesn't address how bullying must be stopped at its source - in whatever form.

In other words, even if you adopted this officer's suggestion in toto, it still would offer nothing more than a temporary band-aid on a much bigger problem.

 

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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