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Why New Jersey Legislation Sends the Wrong Message On Bullying

The legislation being considered by the State of New Jersey in response to the suicide death of the Rutgers University student sends the WRONG message when it comes to bullying.

I know I am going to step on toes with this one, so please hear me out.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe that ANY steps taken in a positive direction that addresses bullying is a Good Thing, but this legislation – no matter how well-intentioned – will be just another toothless tiger, like a United Nations resolution.

Why? Several reasons…

The first is that teaching our children about how to prevent bullying and what to do once you are the target of bullying is a parent’s job,  not the school system or some government entity.

When we as parents teach our children things like self-reliance, self-esteem, self discipline, how to handle conflict and more, we are teaching them how to be better citizens.  We are teaching them to handle and overcome obstacles.  We are teaching them that there are always going to be challenges in life, conflict – even people that do NOT wish them well – and how to have the mental, physical and emotional toughness to deal with those situations or people.

If you create something or someone – like legislation or a governing body – and you hand over responsibility to for addressing bullying, you are giving your power away for yourself and your child, turning you both into victims.  You are teaching yourself and your child that when there is problem, it is someone else’s responsibility and not yours.

The second reason is one of the things I talk about in my book, “Bullies Suck” (formerly titled “Bully Proof Kids”) where I point out that the school systems are NOT designed, funded or staffed properly to stop bullying.

The school systems are designed to do one thing and one thing only – get your child educated and passing the tests that get the schools their funding.

Getting their funding is all that matters to the schools because without that funding, there is no teaching of children in the first place.  It is NOT their fault; it is the way the system works.

The third reason is that if you look at the economic condition of our cities, counties, states and Federal government – they have much bigger fish to fry than bullying.

Look at the state of New Jersey; while again, it is commendable what they are doing with the new legislation, Governor Chris Christie is up to his eyeballs fighting back against bullies of his own. The media, the unions and a shortfall in the billions of dollars for the state budget are taking up the bulk of his time as he tries to save the state’s economic future.

Which is why this legislation – while admirable – is more like a U.N. resolution.  New Jersey is slashing funds from everywhere they can trying to stay solvent.  Do you really think they are going to pass the strongest bullying legislation ever and throw millions of dollars into the program to make sure it gets implemented?

Sadly, I doubt it will happen, as well-intentioned as they may be.  Reality says there are other problems that are larger than bullying that are going to get priority.

Which, brings me to the last reason why this is the WRONG message and what I teach all the time…

New Jersey already had some of the toughest laws on bullying in the nation – and it wasn’t working – because all that we have been taught for generations about how to deal with bullying does NOT work.

This is the real problem.  You can have all the laws, regulations, governing bodies and whatever else you want, all teaching about bullying; if they are all saying the same old, outdated, doesn’t-work-in-the-real-world information, it won’t work.

It doesn’t work in today’s hardwired, 24/7 culture.  It didn’t work when I was in school.  While the advice is well-meaning, and even I want to believe that if you just “turn the other cheek” that the bullying will stop, the sad reality is this:  if all the information there is today about bullying – that has been around and taught forever – actually worked, there would NOT be all these problems with bullying.

The old model of how to deal with bullying is outdated and ineffective – and why I created “Bullies Suck” and the Bully Proof  Brigade.

This is why I wrote the book, “Bullies Suck” and why I created the Bully Proof Brigade.  I searched and searched for someone – anyone – teaching  what really works when it comes to bullying and NOT what everyone WANTS to work when it comes to bullying.  I was stunned to learn that with all the resources that were available, no one was telling the truth.

As a victim of bullying as a child, having worked for several bully bosses and working personally with thousands of men, women and children who struggled with bullying and the emotional scars that are left behind, I made it my mission in life to tell the truth about what really works when it comes to bullying and provide the latest, cutting-edge information I could to all of those who choose to join me.

This is the information – the interviews with experts, the programs, the articles, the stories – about what really works when it comes to bullying.  Parents can get the no-holds-barred truth on what works and what doesn’t’; how to talk to your child about bullying, how to prevent your child from becoming a target and what to do if they are a target.

Adults can learn how to deal with the bully in their lives, be it a spouse, significant other, boss, job or more.

Obesity, health, fitness, body language, personal empowerment – nothing is off limits and everything is “battle tested” by myself or the experts I have networked with to bring you the latest and greatest.

The answer to dealing with bullying is NOT in government intervention, regulation, legislation or someone coming to bail you out – although that mode of operation seems to be infecting everything right now.

No – the answer is YOU.

It is about you and I as parents or individuals getting educated and taking action with the best information we can, taking our power back from whatever or whomever we gave it to, and discovering for ourselves that we are the answer; we can stop bullying now.

You can start to learn how to do this with the book, “Bullies Suck”.  I’ll keep you posted on the Bully Proof Brigade.

For now, take back your power and find the courage to stand up to the bullies and bullying in your life.

Sensei Huff


  1. richard crenshaw
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 04:48:21

    I agree that a bully situation is best taken care of by the person being bullied, that may not always be possible.
    The crippled girl, whose father went to jail to protect her from boys on the school bus could have used a law like this to fight back and not threatend to kill the boys. I understand his anger. But for him to go to jail, just made things worse. I would have done it in a different way . I would have one of my students get on the bus stomp the ring leader,s guts out and tell the others they are next. A law like this, and I have not read it, would give parents the ability to sue the bully’s parents. Thus attacking the people who enpower a bully. This is not a perfect or even the best way to handle the situation. But it is better than nothing. By the way. As for schools not helping I think you are bring too nice to them. It is not a lack of funds or lack of training or personnel. The fact it the schools just do not care. Also they are scared. Thanks Richard Crenshaw


  2. Julie T.
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 08:30:09

    Dear Mr. Harris:(How about…”Huff n’ Puff”..LOL..cute huh? :),


    JOB WELL DONE! I FOR ONE COMMEND YOU! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! (just keep..LIke we all do… now a day’s,..SUCKS!! TRUE!! lol keep watching your P’s & Q’s too!), as well, as us who REALLY DO care, don’t want to lose you ok? 🙂 Sincerely… J. M. T(Julie)


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