Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Holding bullies accountable

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Re: Judge rules four-year term 'cruel' for crime (Oct. 3). If having been bullied isn't a legal defence, perhaps it should be.

It is easy enough to see that shooting at a house is a violent act. It is harder to see that bullying, too, is a violent act, because its effects on the target aren't immediately visible. But bullying is violent. It is a form of emotional torture.

Bullies everywhere should be held accountable for their actions. But we just stand and watch. Even as lenient as the sentence imposed by Judge John Menzies may appear to be (to some), we are once again punishing a bullying victim for standing up, albeit inappropriately, to the bully.

Bryce McMillan is likely to be bullied even worse in prison. As for those who already bullied him, I doubt any action at all will be taken against them. The bullies always win. We let them.

MATTHIAS LAUCHT

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 10, 2013 A14

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