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Should there be any regulation of cyberbullying?

October 29, 2019

How Should Schools Regulate Cyberbullying?

cyberbullying has become a major problem in recent years, but the question then becomes: what should public schools do about it?  It does not appear to be a question with an easy answer, if one considers the differing responses to the problem by public schools and the government.
On one hand, when cyberbullying affects a child's educational experience, the schools have a responsibility to put a stop to the behavior. On the other hand, much of the cyberbullying that occurs takes place outside of school, leaving schools helpless in monitoring such activity. Then, there is the first amendment guarantee of free speech. Where do we draw the line?

The Unique Concern over Cyberbullying
Bullies have been in existence as long as public schools, so why is there a specific concern over online bullying tactics? Some of the unique features of cyberbullying include:

  • Widespread harassment, as online bullying can reach a much larger audience
  • Harassment follows a student home on websites like Facebook and MySpace
  • Bullies are emboldened due to the perceived sense of anonymity that allows them to speak even more cruelly and encourages others to get in on the harassment
  • Uncertainty from parents and schools over how to address the issue

The unique nature of cyberbullying has led many school districts and local governments to come together with parents and students in search of the best solutions to the problem.
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