Bernard James, professor of law, wrote an op-ed on cyberbullying and student suicide for The New York Times on Oct. 1. In the article, James, coauthor of the book Education Policy and the Law: Cases and Commentary, wrote on cyberbullying as a human rights issue.
“The misconduct now called ‘bullying’ is known by prior generations of educators and law enforcement officers as merely delinquency in its traditional forms, often involving groups or enhanced by technology,” writes James.
Recent suicide cases, like that of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, have brought the issue of cyberbullying to the forefront. In the Times article, eight scholars address the question of whether new laws should be drafted to protect victims cyberbullying.
“When bullying is thriving and local campuses are unsafe, it is usually because educators have lost their resolve to stop bullying or have become timid due to misunderstandings about what the new laws require,” writes James. “As a human rights matter, this is unacceptable. Delaying or interfering with a response to bullying in criminal form is itself a criminal matter and should be seen as an abuse of discretion at best and, at worst, obstruction of justice and a violation of the victim's right to an education.”
James specializes in constitutional matters, serving as the First Amendment Contributing Editor on the ABA Preview Journal, which reviews the cases of the United States Supreme Court. He also serves as a contributor and editor to the NASRO Journal of School Safety. He teaches courses in civil rights, federalism, individual rights, first amendment, education law, and state constitutional law.