Sunday, February 08, 2009

Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’ -

Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’ -
Students have been suspended and expelled based on cyberbullying charges for many years. In most cases, the student wins in these lawsuits, unless there is a written and signed policy about cyberbullying in the school.
These rest on the fact that schools (public schools) are restricted by the First Amendment (as governmental bodies) and although they have more leeway than other governmental agencies, are limited by the geographical range, duration of the schools day and related aspects of the actions to the school itself.
Think of it this way. If two kids get into a fight at my house on a Sunday picnic, can the school discipline them Monday morning? No.
It's the same way here.
The only difference is that the student took on a teacher, instead of another student. That changes things a bit, but not completely.
The case cited by the school administrator is an old one, from the time of the Vietnam war, and doesn't apply here.
The reach of the Internet into and out of school complicates things.
Now, the question will be in what way can schools discipline students for what they do outside of the school, after hours and on the Internet to a teacher or other school administrator?

This and other legally-related cyberbullying challenge information will appear in our StopCyberbullying Toolkit, that comes out on feb 25th, free for schools. Along with $1 million dollars worth of content to help schools address cyberbullying for all ages, school administrators, parents and guidance counselors.

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