Cyberbullying Laws and School Policy: A Blessing or Curse?

Posted by Justin W. Patchin on September 28, 2010

Many schools are now in a difficult position of having to respond to a mandate to have a cyberbullying policy, without much guidance from the state about the circumstances under which they can (or must) respond.  When folks ask me if I think there needs to be a “cyberbullying law” I basically respond by saying “perhaps – but not the kind of law most legislators would propose.”  I would look for a law to be more “prescriptive” than “proscriptive.”  By that, I mean I would like to see specific guidance from states about *how* and *when* schools can take action in cyberbullying incidents.  Many states have taken the easy way out by simply passing laws saying effectively “schools need to deal with this.”  Not only have they stopped short in terms of providing specific instructions or even a framework from which schools can evaluate their role, but they have not provided any additional resources to address these issues.  Some states are now requiring schools to educate students and staff about cyberbullying or online safety more generally, but have provided no funding to carry out such activities.  Unfunded mandates have become cliché in education, and this is just another example.

Moreover, school administrators are in a precarious position because they see many examples in the media where schools have been sued because they took action against a student when they shouldn’t have or they failed to take action when they were supposed to.  Schools need help determining where the legal line is.

Many states already have existing criminal and civil remedies to deal with cyberbullying.  Extreme cases would fall under criminal harassment or stalking laws or a target could pursue civil action for intentional infliction of emotional distress or defamation, to name a few.  Bullying (whatever the form) that occurs at school is no doubt already subject to an existing bullying policy.  To be sure, schools should bring their bullying and harassment policies into the 21st Century by explicitly identifying cyberbullying as a proscribed behavior, but they need to move beyond the behaviors that occur on school grounds or those that utilize school-owned resources.  But in order to do this they need guidance from their state legislators and Departments of Education so that they draft a policy and procedure that will be held up in court.  School, technology, and privacy lawyers disagree about what should (or must) be in a policy.  It’s no wonder many educators are simply throwing their hands up.

We really like New Hampshire’s recently passed bullying law, even though like other efforts it demands a lot from schools without a corresponding increase in resources.  This section is key:

“Bullying or cyberbullying shall occur when an action or communication as defined in RSA 193-F:3: … (b) Occurs off of school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity or event, if the conduct interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school or school-sponsored activity or event.”

This puts schools, students, and parents on notice that there are instances when schools can discipline students for their off campus behavior.  It will take many years, though, before we will know if this law can be used as a model.  Schools will need to pass policies based on the law; a school will then need to discipline a bully based on the new policy; then they will need to be sued; then the case will need to be appealed.  Perhaps then the case will get to a significant enough court that it will matter.  Hang on and see how it turns out.  In the meantime, lobby your legislators to pass meaningful, prescriptive laws instead of laws that simply say “cyberbullying is wrong, now YOU do SOMETHING about it.”  It’s election time, so I’m sure your local representative will be all ears…

41 Responses to “Cyberbullying Laws and School Policy: A Blessing or Curse?”

  1. Victoria Kempf says:

    Cyberbullying is on the rise. It's easy to be a cyberbully. Some kids don't even realize that they are being cyberbullies. Cyberbullying is often anonymous. Kids are disinhibited because there are no visual cues since you don't see the reaction of the victim. And sad but true, there are websites/apps that encourage cyberbullying such as Formspring and Honesty Box. We need to teach our children to be good digital citizens and this begins at home as soon as kids are online. Parents need to know what their kids are doing online, supervise and teach kids how to be responsible digital citizens. Now that laws are being passed, it's even more important for parents to be involved in their children's online life. Parents teach their children not to be bully's on the playground… they can teach them not to be bully's online, but to do this they need to know what they are doing online.

  2. Drew says:

    What needs to be done in addition to more parental envolvement (which is important for any child) is to contact the Attorney General when your child is being bullied if the web company refuses to remove the posts and encourage our politicians to develop stronger cyberbullying and internet laws. People have totally abused what freedom of speech is about. Attacking other people was not what the framers of the Constitution meant at all and cyberbullying, slander, libel, and defamation of character are criminal acts. The problem is, though you can sue the person who posted lies about you, the company is seldom held liable. That needs to change. When companies that are havens for cyberbullying are held more accountable for violating their own Terms of Service then things can improve. It will never be perfect but much more can be done for web companies like the ones Victoria mentioned and the horrible cyberbullying site, Topix, aren't going to stop the bullying because they don't legally have to (though it speaks volumes about the company)

  3. Matt Walters says:

    Drew brings up a tangential point. Companies like TOPIX continue to profit on their format of allowing and creating a community for online hate, racism, bullying and defamation. Scores are trying to stop what TOPIX is doing. See here for an overview:

    http://toxictopix.webs.com/

    This will not solve the bullying problem but it will certain stop the worst offender from creating a profit model out of online bullying. Corporate america, especially media companies need to set an example for responsible actions.

  4. Katherine Kruska says:

    I think it is time we consider making cyber-bullying an assult, JUST LIKE a physical assult and have legal consequences for such behaviour! It is just as serious, if not more so, as hitting someone in the head with a baseball bat!!!!!

  5. trina says:

    I think the law should have more to stop cyberbulling!

  6. Lisa Ford-Berry says:

    As a grieving parent, I know the heartache of Bullycide. I know the looks. I know the stares. I know the whispers. I know the pain. I know people wonder how something like this could happen in their community, in their school. I still wonder that as I grieve my son’s death two years after his bullycide. My 17 year old son Michael Joseph Berry was the victim of bullycide on his 17th birthday, September 15, 2008 at Mira Loma High School.

    National Bullying Prevention month is October, and in honor of my son I have started a letter writing campaign on behalf of my organization B.R.A.V.E. ™ (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone) in order to bring awareness to the ever growing national issue of bullycide. The climate of bullying has changed to the point that it is causing real damage, and ultimately the people who bully must face the consequences of their actions.

    Bullycide is a death that leaves many victims in its wake. Families are left heartbroken, destroyed, with no place to turn, and very few bullycide resources at their disposal. In many cases the schools blame the victim, and the police refuse to get involved because no laws have been broken.

    I realize part of the problem in prosecuting bullying is due to the fact that the perpetrators are in fact children themselves. However, it is my opinion that we must hold not only the children accountable, but the professional’s accountable for the behavior that is tolerated at their school. Additionally, when we say we have a zero tolerance for bullying we must mandate and enforce that zero tolerance – even if it’s uncomfortable.

    Our national bullying problem is further compounded by the failure to have any type of national law that holds the schools responsible for the behavior of the children in there care, even state laws widely differ on how best to protect our children while at school. We are working to change and update the California State Anti-Bullying Law, which was last updated in 2003, where it was a D prior to the 2003 update. Currently, our law is ranked a B by the watch dog organization Bully Police.

    If we are to see a change in law then we must first do something other than talk about it. We must realize it is more rampant than anyone knows, and we must toss out our preconceived ideas of what bullying means and deal with it today – as it is because the lives of our children depend on us to ACT, and act swiftly. There’s so much that needs to be done on behalf of the children who suffer at the hands of bullies.

    We need as a society to do more than just play lip service to the very real pain that is associated with bullying. Each victim of bullycide is a child that was left to flounder, a child that felt no one understood, a child that felt betrayed by the very people who were charged with their wellbeing. Parents of the victims and the perpetrators both expect the schools to do something, and yet we as a society do nothing. I urge you to stand with us as we come together in the quest of valor, committed to courage in defense of a noble cause. Stand with us as we stomp out bullycide

    Peace and prayers,

    Lisa Ford-Berry

    B.R.A.V.E. (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone)

    Lisafordberry@BRAVEsociety.org

  7. danielle skaggs says:

    people just need to leave people alone

  8. Danielle Skaggs(: says:

    everyone just needs to stop bullying… if you don't like to bullyed that you don't bully them. if they started it than just walk away from it.. even if people do stuff too you than don't worried bout it. everyone just needs to pray and live a peaceful life. don't let them got to you cause i did and it didn't do nothing but hurt myself more.. so live life and have a good life and don't worry bout that. just let it go in one ear and out the other.. they just want to talk bout someone so they can look cool and they wont look so bad on there self…. just be happy and say thank you. and let it go cause they will get it back and god will help you. so just ask god for help and he will help you. i promise you that. (: god is always there for you when you need him. he NEVER LEAVES YOUR SIDE.(: I promise that.. god loves you. so don't worry bout what people say bout you cause god maded you the way he wanted to and that is the way your going to live. so just be happy for who you are and don't down your self. no matter what people say god loves you and so does your family so be happy for that.

    P.S.pray and love and peace.

    love always Danielle Skaggs!(:

  9. Danielle Skaggs(: says:

    everyone just needs to stop bullying… if you don’t like to bullyed that you don’t bully them. if they started it than just walk away from it.. even if people do stuff too you than don’t worried bout it. everyone just needs to pray and live a peaceful life. don’t let them got to you cause i did and it didn’t do nothing but hurt myself more.. so live life and have a good life and don’t worry bout that. just let it go in one ear and out the other.. they just want to talk bout someone so they can look cool and they wont look so bad on there self…. just be happy and say thank you. and let it go cause they will get it back and god will help you. so just ask god for help and he will help you. i promise you that. (: god is always there for you when you need him. he NEVER LEAVES YOUR SIDE.(: I promise that.. god loves you. so don’t worry bout what people say bout you cause god maded you the way he wanted to and that is the way your going to live. so just be happy for who you are and don’t down your self. no matter what people say god loves you and so does your family so be happy for that.

    P.S.pray and love and peace.

    love always Danielle Skaggs!(:

  10. sjs01420 says:

    Please document these events……….be able to prove they are true……….do not slander, the truth is the truth…….. and then post the Family Tree of the Bully on here, list the entire family and their place of employment and where they all attend school, be sure to use the city, county and state. Peer disapproval has always been the best medicine for such behavior. I bet when the parents get a taste of the humiliation it will stop or at least slow down. When someone does a search for this issue on google, etc., we will then see the name of the BULLY and their family, school place of employment and any other available information. I would probably even list their address and the cars they drive. Let us put a stop to this.

  11. linzee says:

    why dont all you guys start a campain or protest so you'll be heard to put more awareness in cyberbullyijng ?? or get more people and make a pre law and try getting it passed put sighns up around town or something more people involved the more itll work out ?

  12. Mason says:

    Why make a law that will be impossible to enforce, that will completely clog the judicial system with cases that have much less importance than other cases, and also a law that infringes on free speech. Don't waist tax dollars on something that isn't worth while. I'm not trying to dis-value the lives of those effected by cyber bullying, its just there are so many better things to focus on like education. Don't waste law enforcement and judges and lawyers time by making some law that essentially cant be enforced

  13. MAlik MUhammad says:

    Malik thinks that this is a good thing because this is a serious offence.

  14. MAlik MUhammad says:

    I like these things because they are cracking down on it

  15. Fred says:

    Research has proven cyberbullying can having devastating affects. If you go online and post about someone you have knowingly chosen to attack them so you have committed a crime with intent and the law needs to change to start prosecuting these people. It is not free speech to tell lies about someone.

  16. scout says:

    Cyber bullying can be serious in some cases. But often the bullies are leaving an unintentional remark or joke. The victims or parents of victims often overreact. Our judges and officials need to be more focused on more serious crimes. People just need to respect eachother and everyone, take a chill pill!

  17. scout says:

    respect eachother, dont cry over spilled milk, and only get the law involved if it is really, seriously, serious.

  18. [Anonymous] says:

    Response to:

    I think it is time we consider making cyber-bullying an assult, JUST LIKE a physical assult and have legal consequences for such behaviour! It is just as serious, if not more so, as hitting someone in the head with a baseball bat!!!!!

    Unfortunately, that is not the case. As a victim of cyberbullying, and conventional, I know that cyberbullying just isnt that bad. It takes real people in your everyday life to impact you, and cyberbullying only accompanies that. Cyberbullying is a sidearm, and the real problem is that we arent doing enough to prevent the conventional bullying that comes with it. Cyberbullying alone, or for that matter, the words of absolutely anyone, anywhere, even in person, cannot push someone over the edge if the victim knows one rule: you don't have to care what they think. As for a law about this, there are far too many ways for this to go wrong, and it would make things much worse.

    Damage isnt damage if you can just snap out of it, like 99% of victims can EASILY do.

  19. [...] Cyberbullying Laws and School Policy: A Blessing or Curse? (9-28-2010) [...]

  20. richard says:

    current laws make cyberbullying legislation redundant. for example, if someone calls you gay o the internet, SUE HIM FOR SLANDER/LIBEL, whichever would apply to the internet. or create a different account and get him back. this is not a physical situation where the victim can't get back because he is weaker, this is a situation where he can, and do it anonymously.

  21. [...] Recent Comments Anhero on The Mitchell Henderson trolling case and the way we define cyberbullying… on The Current State of Cyberbullying Lawsrandomdude on The Mitchell Henderson trolling case and the way we define cyberbullyingPaul on Bullying and Cyberbullying Pledges in the School and Communityrichard on Cyberbullying Laws and School Policy: A Blessing or Curse? [...]

  22. Marcus says:

    There is one Amendment in particular that strongly correlates to cyberbullying, and that is the First Amendment, freedom of speech. The laws of bullying and harassment "first arose in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Hinduja, Patchin p 107)." With the advance in technology and lifestyle, their had to be advances in the laws as well. With the advanced new generation of bullying, cyberbullying, there had to be laws made to combat the crime. After doing a little research on this topic, I have found from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), that there are 35 of the 50 states that now have enacted cyberbullying laws. This data is a promising sign for those of us who believe that more needs to be done to solve this issue and prevent any further damage that could come because of this crime.

    Maybe something that may have a little more interest to you is the cyberbullying law in Florida. In Florida Statute Section 1006.147, under Title XLVIII, in Chapter 1006, there are definitions, policies, and specifics as to what is punishable for any bullying or harassing by a student or employee in a K-12 public school. More specific for this discussion, the law states that bullying is prohibited "Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of a public K-12 educational institution."This law provides a platform and brings the attention of cyberbullying into light and out of the shadows.

    It is these laws that the 35 states have that will be the foundation to combat, control, and prevent cyberbullying as we move into the future.

  23. vm says:

    an individual committing suicide, because of continuous harassment and being bullied via messaging device such as cell phones and computers. The suicidal thought of those people can be attributed to the belief that everyone around them are making fun of them, because of what they might’ve seen about them online. Think of Ryan Halligan who committed suicide after a girl he befriended online betrayed his trust by forward all the messages he sent to her. Ryan thought the girl was really his friend so he revealed his feeling for her but rather than keeping those messages to herself, she forwarded them to the majority of her classmate. Feeling embarrassed that people were making fun of him and tormenting him at school, not being able to handle the teasing Ryan hung himself in his bathroom. This tragic story is why we should have more law against cyberbullying.

  24. vm says:

    It’s pretty difficult for administrators to figure out what to do in cases that involved cyber bullying because the law seems so complex. Well, some states court rulings have provided some direction to school districts in terms of when they can discipline students for their behavior or speech’’.

  25. LP says:

    The law in general can be ambiguous. When legislation is asked to define certain words written in the law, some definitions can also be unclear which isn’t at all helpful. One reason for this is that not one case is exactly alike. Exceptions can get added on to laws each time a case goes to the Supreme Court. With this being said, policies on trying to stop, prevent, and punish cyberbullying can be very difficult to create. For example, several cases of student on teacher harassment have created several different rulings and exceptions. The Tinker ruling upheld the first amendment to students in school. School officials cannot discipline students for off-campus speech or behavior with which they simply do not agree unless the school environment is significantly affected or the inappropriate behavior occurred at a school event. Fraser ruling then added “schools have an interest in teaching students the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior and therefore must play a role in restricting behavior and speech that is considered highly offensive or highly threatening to others that includes threatening material communicated electronically from school grounds”. In another case it was ruled that “school officials can discipline students for conduct occurring off of school premises where it is established that the conduct materially and substantially interferes with educational process”. As I you can see, it can be very difficult for the school to really know when and when not they can act upon the students’ misbehavior. Even the definition to substantial disruption can be subjective to one’s own opinion. It means “substantially or materially disrupts learning, interferes with the educational process or school discipline, utilizes school-owned technology to harass, or threatens other students or infringes on their civil rights”. One teacher may feel that a student playing on his cell phone or talking amongst each other during a lecture to be substantially disruptive because she may have to stop teaching to control her students; whereas another teacher may be able to ignore the behavior and continue teaching.

  26. Dexter says:

    In an effort to protect it's students, school districts have developed and implemented several policies which include a bullying/harassment policy. Additionally, with the rampant use of technology worldwide, school districts have added cyberbullying to their school anti bullying policies. Broward county schools have an active 12 page anti-bullying policy. Within this policy, cyberbullying and cyberstalking is cited and defined. The school district defines cyberbullying as "the willful and repeated harassment and intimidation of a person through the use of digital technologies, including, but not limited to, email, blogs, texting on cell phones, social websites, chat rooms, "sexting", instant messaging, or video voyeurism" (Broward). Cyberstalking "means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at or about a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose" (Broward ).

    Bullying of any student or school employee is prohibited by Broward county school district. Any individual who violates this policy will suffer appropriate consequences and or interventions. For example, consequences for students include behavioral interventions, up to suspension. Bullying should be reported to the principal or designee at each school.

    The remaining procedure involves investigation, referral for intervention, and appeals process. This extensive anti-bullying policy is based on Florida statutes and provides guidance for school administrators.

  27. JJ says:

    Legal issues involved in cyber-bullying are difficult to navigate. The constitutional right to free speech stands between schools and controlling cyber-bullying. Not all rights are lost when a student sets foot on campus but a student certainly has fewer cyber and social liberties once on school grounds. Certain social etiquette is expected of students in the presence of educators and fellow students and they are encouraged to treat each other with decency. In one incident, the case of Emmett v. Kent School District No 415 (2000), a student created a website about his school, but not made at his school. The site included what was referred to on the news as a hit list. The child was expelled however the court told the school that this was an off-campus activity and no one seemed threatened by it. In Wisniewski v. The Board of Education of The Weedsport Central School District(2007,) a different decision was reached. The courts decided that the student should have been aware that his actions would be a disruption and that the school indeed had the right to punish him. According to the text, Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard, Preventing and Responding to Cyber-bullying(Hinduja, Patchin, 2009) the elements necessary for an effective school cyber-bullying policy are: specific definitions of harassment, intimidation and bullying; graduated consequences and remedial actions; procedures for reporting; procedures for investigating; language specifying that if a student’s off-campus speech or behavior results in “substantial disruption of the learning environment,” the student can be disciplined; procedures for preventing cyber-bullying ( Box 5.6, p.120.)

  28. Ingreed says:

    When we talk about Cyberbullying and Legal issues we come to a very difficult area. I say this because they are many issues with who, what, how, where things are considered okay or not okay to get done. Let me explain myself, at the beginning of chapter 5 they give this excellent example to demonstrate how complex this subject is. it talks about a student who created a website where one of his teacher was described using negative stuff. There was a controversy about this because the school district said that those actions were violating the school image and property in this case the teacher. The student was suspended. However, another issue rose from this. The student's right to free speech had been violated. So now you can see that one thing might look okay from one perspective, but not from another. As result of issues like this, the court has set some rules to help schools to take an action in different occasions. The major court rulings have to do with any kind of harassment between students and/or teachers and free speech on and off campus. There has been a huge controversy when students do something like creating a website off campus but school material is included because they do know until what extent schools can intervene. The First Amendment protects rights about free of speech, but there are some circumstances that are not protected. For example, substantially or materially disrupts learning, interferes with the educational process or school discipline, utilizes school-owned technology to harass or threatens other students or infringes on their civil rights (Hinduja, 2009). School district policies are very important because like i mentioned before it helps schools to react in front of a problem. It is not only important to know and have clear these policies, but consequences and procedures as well. Since these are is so complex it is recommended to consult with an attorney that has a lot of experiences in the subject. After reading this chapter, i came to understand why in some occasions teacher or schools do not intervene. I now know that it is because they might be confused about what they can or cannot do and not because they just did not get involve. I believe this chapter was very instructive, since many things can be clarified voiding wrong judging teachers or schools actions.

  29. NS says:

    Cyberbullying has become a huge problem – especially among the youths of today’s society. I believe, in an effort to help prevent more cases from continuing to happen, the best course of action would be to make these acts illegal. I believe this needs to be done because these acts have gotten to be completely out of hand and uncontrollable, and the severity of them just continues to get worse as time progresses. By doing this, it’s not only showing the youth how serious of an offense it is, but it’s also showing them that their actions are punishable. In order to make these acts illegal, law enforcement would need to partner up with schools and parents of cyberbullied victims from within the community to study cyberbullying patterns and learn what forms are most common, most damaging, most hurtful, etc. Once they have done that they would need to develop very detailed descriptions of what cyberbullying contains. By including detailed descriptions, it would minimize the chances of having loopholes in the law for students to get away with their actions. Though this seems like a drastic step, I believe it’s what needs to be done because cyberbullying has gotten progressively worse over the years and will only continue on this track. If it is considered to be an illegal action, kids would be less likely to participate in it, leading to a decrease in the amount of cases and victims seen.

  30. Mariana says:

    I agree with you I think that schools should be able to step in and address cyber bullying issues even if it is not in school grounds. They should step in and not fear of a law suit. The more the school steps in and states that cyber bullying is a problem it can maybe lead to bully prevention bills being passed as some states already have them. I also think it is ridiculous that parents side with their children when they are caught cyber bullying other people. This also makes it hard for schools to do anything when the parent is agreeing with their children even though they are wrong. This teaches the children nothing and they then think it is ok to cyber bully.

  31. victor says:

    Legislation and parental control can contribute tremendously to the prevention of teenage cyber violence, however, the most important and crucial role lies in the hands of school administration. Students are in school for a total number of 180 days not including the usual two day weekend (which should be included because it takes place within these days).Therefore, students are under the supervision of their corresponding school for the majority of the year. Apart from the time factor, school is a place where students interact the most with individuals of their own age group and is the foundation to each one’s social life. This makes school the most susceptible location in which teen violence can occur, but most importantly, can arise.

    The most important step in combating a problem such as this one is to acknowledge that it exists and prepare an effort to fight against it. As stated in the text, schools begin this process by conducting a number of different surveys to students and staff to assess to which extent cyberbullying has come to. Following these inquiries, schools have created rules for computer classroom use as portrayed in box 6.3 of the text. In my opinion instead of simply posting guidelines as to what is allowed and what isn't’t, each student of each class should be obligated to sign a contract to follow these rules. In doing so, the teachers are exercising their power in the classroom and are establishing control. Also in doing so, if an individual is to break the rules, he/she will be more susceptible to face harsher consequences for whatever actions they took, making it harder for they themselves or the parents to suspend punishment. This contract would make it very clear to the students that computer use is a privilege on school grounds and any misconduct in its use will not be taken lightly.

    During my high school years at Stranahan High School, computer use was a big part of lecture and test taking. A fairly large portion on my grade rested on the online assignments and group projects that were assigned to me. Prior to having access to online assessments, the professor was obligated by the school to issue a computer use contract that the school administration had wrote up themselves. On this contract it stated obvious restrictions of computer use while on school grounds or while in the school database outside of school grounds. The last sentence of the contract stated in bold text, “Any violation of the stated rules will result in the loss of computer access without the option of an alternate assignment.” In other words, if you lose computer access you lose your grade. This method used academic suffering as a deterrent for students not to engage in cyber violence and in the 3 years these online lecture classes were implemented there was only one case of a violation.

    Therefore, the goal in my opinion is not to simply put up a number of walls up or block certain websites on school computers. The goal is to set up an agreement between the student and the school administration between what is allowable and what is not. Giving students full access to school internet access creates a trust relationship that if betrayed, will result in the immediate punishment of the student(AS STATED IN THE CONTRACT). Whatever the punishment chosen by the school administration must be harsh, just as the one instilled in my high school. It must act as a deterrent and prevent recidivism(if the student is ever allowed access again depending on the severity of the school punishment).

    The best way to begin the battle of preventing cyber abuse on school grounds is to regulate the most popular means of technology use in school which is computer use.

  32. Dude says:

    Cyberbullying is wrong. I have been a victim of this, and it resulted in a monetary and emotional loss. This needs correction.

  33. [...] law follows the pattern of other recent state legislation (See our analysis of New Hampshire’s law) in adding language that incorporates off-campus behaviors that [...]

  34. Logic says:

    People who call themselves cyber bully "victims".. Don't DESERVE to be exonerated like they are. They have easiest more insignificant little problem. People dying everyday and what are people worried about? Mean words via the internet / cellphones.. Most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. Whose fault really is it when the kid can't handle himself on the internet? Whose fault is it really when the kid is such a spoiled, ungrateful, unappreciative, little prick that he feels that he needs to KILL himself over mean words on mean pictures of him. Can't handle the internet.. DON'T USE THESE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES. The majority of the time it's as SIMPLE as pushing 'block', growing some balls, and ignoring it.

    What a pathetic sad weak generation when people even consider messing with peoples ability to speak freely just because spoiled pathetic kids.

    • Ale Gab4 says:

      i hope your children never experience this type of aggression. i believe this article is for solutions. I had ignored bullies (i had fought with them), maybe you too; but it is clear that not every one is the same. Also, i don’t know if you have heard, but those victims of bullying are the one killing in school, maybe even in the street. Maybe they are looking for revenge!! This writer thinks we should look for new solutions instead to punishing the victims.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I am against cyber bullying legislation. As a high school teenager I am aware of how difficult coping with things can be. However I am not a person that cyber bullies or has been bullied. I think it is not right; however, I don’t think that it is something that needs to be regulated by the government. Punishments for cyber bullying are more severe than those for physical harm. These laws send the wrong message. Also I am active in voicing my opinion that the freedom of speech ought to be un infringed. I think that the offense principal is to subjective and that the person who is speeding does not control what people choose to take offense to. It is a matter of dealing with ignorance. I have friends who have overcome the bullying and I have a friend who committed suicide; however it was all in how they dealt with it personally. From my observations I have found that the more apathetic you can be to what is said the less power the bully has. Is cyber bullying wrong? Yes! Is cyber bullying legislation bad? Yes! We shouldn’t compromise one principle for another.

  36. beforethedance says:

    Cyberbullying is a form of assault. People do it because they think they can get away with it. If you choose to act like a coward, you should be treated accordingly. The worst cyberbullying site I have ever seen is Topix.

  37. Notabully says:

    Quick Question, is it cyber bullying if no person is addressed in the tweets specifically? and the person who has been offended continues to follow and subject themselves to the tweets that are “offensive”

  38. KingBoy7 says:

    I do agree but the problem is cyberbulling is not only in school with texting it is also on chat sites and things. Games, Gaming Systems, etc… Adults can not see it because the bully hides the conversation and or deletes it. Kids are bullied everyday. Mostly because of what they sound like. Trust me it is the same with.

  39. Rain Wilson says:

    Does scamming people on an online game count?

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