Many people would say that bullying is an inevitable part of life. Parents, school administrators and students have taken steps in recent years to bring awareness to the problem of bullying and to prevent it, but the fact remains that some young people in Nebraska and elsewhere will participate in teasing, threatening or harming others. It is important for parents and students to understand that some types of bullying can be seen as a crime and may result in serious charges.

Some children may see bullying as a harmless act, especially if they believe they are merely teasing their peers or performing a humorous prank. However, there are instances where a so-called “harmless” prank can go terribly wrong. In a recent incident, three girls from a school in Pennsylvania played a joke on a classmate, who was severely allergic to pineapple. Reportedly, one girl rubbed pineapple on her hand and gave a high five to the other student. The girl had to be treated at a hospital, but fortunately recovered. However, the girls who were involved in the prank are facing criminal charges, including assault, harassment, reckless endangering and criminal conspiracy.

Parents may help their children avoid such consequences by teaching them that they should never taunt a peer who is allergic to food, as well as not to intimidate or harm another child. However, young people may not consider the consequences of their actions and may not see teasing or bullying as being harmful. A criminal defense attorney may help to keep the consequences from becoming too severe.

Source: USA TODAY, “Pineapple-tainted high-five sends allergic girl to hospital, 3 teens face charges,” Sean Rossman, Jan. 26, 2018