The phrase "snail mail" may have never been more applicable. A postcard from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago just reached its destination 53 years after it was mailed. Last week, Elizabeth Fulcher, who lives on Clairmont Lane in Daytona, Florida, received a postcard addressed to a Scott McMurry on Clairmont Avenue in Decatur, Georgia. McMurry did once reside on Clairmont Avenue in Decatur when he was a child. Fulcher said she was immediately intrigued by the two-cent stamp attached to it.
Fulcher posted a picture of the postcard on her Facebook wall, and then her friends helped her track down McMurry, who is a historian for the Justice Department and lives in Virginia.
McMurry was then given the postcard that his now-deceased parents had sent more than five decades ago. Now 71, McMurry said he immediately recognized his mother's handwriting and called the card "incredible." The postcard read, "We'll probably be home before this gets there." The Shedd Aquarium has offered an all-expenses-paid trip for McMurry and his family to make up for the tardy card. He said he plans to take up the offer.
Internet bullying is a problem for many teens around the world, but one teen and her parents are fighting back and using the legal system to do it. Alex Boston, a 14-year-old middle school student in Atlanta, Georgia, was being harassed on Facebook by students at her school. The students allegedly created a bogus account using Alex's name, altered images of her, sexually explicit updates, and implications that she used drugs.
When other kids at school heard about the page and began making fun of Alex, she was devastated. Although she reported the students to school officials at Palm Middle School and local police in Cobb County, she was told there was nothing they could do because it occurred off campus. Amy and Chris Boston were encouraged to contact Facebook directly, but after they did so, the fake page still remained active. It was finally taken down last week around the time the lawsuit was filed.
So instead of just sitting back and waiting for the situation to improve, Alex's parents got involved and retained an attorney. The Bostons are suing two students and their parents for libel. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Almost all 50 states have a law or some other policy prohibiting cyberbullying, but very few cover intimidation outside of school property. Seven states have added off-campus harassment to their bullying laws in recent years, but Georgia is not one of them.
What is up for debate here is whether or not the students who are accused of bullying are protected by the First Amendment.
- Crime & Justice