Does the Bullying Law Violate 1st Amendment Rights?

Does the Bullying Law Violate 1st Amendment Rights?

Adonia Allen-Versosa

If you are a student in Nevada, you may or may not have heard of Nevada’s new anti-bullying law which went into effect in July 2015. The law states that any language that can be taken in a negative manner, even if it is used jokingly (f.e. banter), and heard by a teacher or advisor will be reported to higher authorities (principal, officers, etc.) However, there is a bit of controversy on whether or not this new law violates our 1st amendment right, which states that as an American citizen you have the right of freedom of speech. So, if you’re punished for speech, how do you really have freedom of speech?

 

First of all, the anti-bullying law obviously has a reason for existing. Bullying is a MAJOR issue in schools around the world, where the most severe of cases have resulted in suicide.  Sadly enough, these cases have have skyrocketed throughout the years. Though no one can treat a person’s cause of bullying, governments have taken action into their own hands by creating anti-bullying laws with the hope of scaring  bullies out of self-esteem-damaging behavior.  Under the new law, a bully can face severe consequences if convicted.  

 

At a younger age, children have been known to tease each other, playfully or negativity. As they age, it only becomes more in-depth. For example, teenage girls have been reported to make fake accounts to lure victims in and subject them to false behavior only for negative entertainment on their behalf.
However, the first amendment, as mentioned earlier, allows us to voice our opinions. With the bullying law restricting our ability to do so, it violates our rights as American citizens. Although it is for a good cause, should our 1st Amendment right be constricted?  However,  this is only the first step;  once the government can modify it to fit everyone’s ideals, the world will be a better place. Hopefully.