Monday, March 11, 2013

Is This Bullying, Or Just Wildly Inappropriate Behavior?

I don't think we should label as "bullying" any behavior we don't like.  Is this necessarily bullying, or something else entirely? 
Several years ago, Brendesha Tynes was taken aback when she received an e-mail from one of her former students.

The note directed her to a Facebook event for an all-night bar crawl an event with which Tynes, an assistant professor at the time, had nothing to do. But it featured an offensive image and listed Tynes as the host; another former student had set it up.

As an educator and researcher, Tynes had spent years looking into cyberbullying. Now, she was a victim.
I'm not saying the former student shouldn't be punished, but I'm not sure that "bullying" is how we should label this behavior.  To be honest, this action doesn't even meet most definitions of bullying that I've seen presented.


Steve USMA '85 said...

Slander or libel maybe. Definitely not bullying.

Happy Elf Mom said...

I don't know. It seems like it may be bullying because it is a way to make her suspicious in the eyes of her employer. She's defaming this woman online.

I am not sure about the legal definitions, but yes, we all agree that this is not OK behaviour.