I wonder how many in here that are actively diminishing this savage attack have young children of their own? Further, what their reaction would be after getting that phone call that their young son was in the emergency room with broken bones after being attacked on the school bus?
Somehow, I don't think they'd be telling their child, "ah well son, it happens."
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
You are wrong and I'll tell you why you are wrong: Children, like adults can do whatever they want to do when there is no one there to stop them. It's called free will. We are all born with it.
Anyone can instill whatever they want to instill in their children and there will never be a guarantee that those children won't do whatever they want to do some time in the future.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
Look ... rather than this back & forth about definitions, maybe it would be helpful if we could agree that trying to explain this away with tired clichés about "poor self-respect" or "something lacking in their lives" rather than acknowledging that society has been excusing, and consequently, encouraging, this kind of behavior and so kids (and adults) like that know they can get away with a whole lot because of that.
As far as these kids go, the sentence of probation seems extremely light given the nature of the attack