Savor the irony that it was the pugnacious New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — famous for bellowing at constituents — who in 2011 signed the nation’s most sweeping anti-bullying law. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights mandates training programs for school employees and students, grades school districts on compliance, disciplines teachers who “should have known of an incident,” and requires the appointment of “school liasion[s] to law enforcement.” One New Jersey district has even formed a partnership with the local Crime Stoppers hot line, allowing middle-schoolers to report suspected bullying to the police via text message or email.

President Obama, who on the first day of school in 2009 took time out from running two wars to have himself piped into the nation’s classrooms, urging students “to stand up for kids who are being teased,” is working hard to catch up to Christie…

At its best, the anti-bullying movement has made progress disciplining truly abusive behavior. At the extremes, however, it resembles an effort to take the rough edges off of life by smothering school and workplace interactions with bureaucrats and lawyers.