Federal and State Laws on Cyber Bullying

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Federal and state laws maintain that schools have a role in ensuring that students when in schools are in safe environments which are free from bullying. States have thus been taking strict measures against the schools’ managements who have been found condoning bullying within the schools’ grounds e.g. the ruling which was made in favor of the New York High school student who was awarded $1 million due to being a victim of racial bullying (Patchin and Sameer 24). Despite such outright directives taken by the federal and state laws on cyber bullying within the school grounds, cyber bullying happening off campus has been a bone of contention. Some of the legislators hold the argument that schools should take responsibility and intervene to control cyber bullying while others argue that such schools have no role to play. This article aims at illustrating that schools have a responsibility in controlling cyber bullying.

            To start with, cyber bullying affects the students’ learning despite it happening outside the school environment. Individual students who have fallen victims of cyber bullying normally receive deep torments which create traumatic experiences interfering with their learning. Though cyber bullying happens outside the schools’ grounds, the students associate such bullying experiences they have experienced off campus with their daily learning experiences interfering with their cognitive capabilities in learning. Such off campus traumatic experiences thus interferes with not only psychological development but also academic performance of the individual students who find it hard to express themselves and seek their rights while pursuing their academic goals. The mistreatment on a student by another student online makes the student feel insecure at school which in turn affects their academic performance as evidenced by the survey conducted in 2016 where two thirds of the students reported to have been negatively affected by cyber bullying in their learning (Patchin 1; par. 5). Though cyber bullying happens off campus, it is directly related to the learning experiences the students have in campuses and directly affects their learning. In addition, cyber bullying contravenes the First amendment of the US constitution which the schools must reinforce. Though it may be argued that spying on social media by schools interferes with the students’ privacy, such is a critical strategy that has more good compared to the interference with their privacy.

            More to these, online bullying is an indication of the school bullying. This is because the online platforms act as avenues where the students interact on various life issues. Such avenues are characterized by the students being not physically together which means that when the students are physically together at school, there is a likelihood of increased bullying. This is because cyber bullying of students is an indicator of school bullying hence the need for the schools to combat cyber bullying to be able to eliminate school bullying.

Further, cyber bullying may not be effectively controlled by the punishments coming from police as compared to the effectiveness of the school based punishments. This is because punishments by the police may be limited while dealing with a student which is not a limitation of the schools’ punishments. This is also supported by the fact that the school’s punishment are not only prohibitive in nature but also educative enabling  the students to gain morally and socially acceptable behaviors as compared to the police punishments which may harden the students making them unreasonable. Though certain arguments may be held that such cyber bullies deserve brutal police punishments, the police punishments goes beyond the educational moral goals of developing reasonable, morally enlightened individuals through making the students hardened and unreasonable.

In conclusion, schools have a role to play in developing an all round individual able to fit not only in the school settings but also in the general society. They have a role of monitoring the students’ behavior not only when in school but also while off campus. Through such strict monitoring, the adverse effects e.g. limited freedom of the victims cyber bully in school environments will be eliminated creating favorable school learning environments. In addition, controlling cyber bullying will help curb cases of school bullying (1; par. 6). Lastly, such strategic school punishments will help reform the cyber bullies making them reasonable, gain morality and other values which may not be possible with police punishments.

Work cited

Patchin W.Justin., “Should schools be required to intervene when students cyber bully other

            students off campus?”  CQ Researcher, January 2018.

Patchin, Justin W., and Sameer Hinduja, eds. Cyberbullying prevention and response: Expert

            perspectives. Routledge, 2017. Print. p. 24

August 14, 2023

Crime Law

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Cyber Bullying

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