Cyberbullying on the Rise

As more and more of our students use text messaging and social networking I'm also seeing a rise in complaints about cyber bullying. I know that saying mean things about one another is a fact of teen life, but these and similar technologies seem to make it possible for cyber bullies to hound their victims 24/7. What is my responsibility as a site administrator?

Schools have dealt with this growing problem on their own with varying levels of success, but questions about students' rights to free speech and whether or not schools have the authority to deal with off-campus behaviors have made it difficult for administrators to know exactly what steps they can legally take. Now several states are considering legislation that may clear up some of these questions, and also hold schools more accountable for taking swift action.

It's important for you to stay up-to-date on legislation in your state. But you cannot stem cyber bullying on your own. Teachers, parents and students need to understand how to recognize and respond to cyber bullying. Here are a few resources to help you get started:

In Memory of Ryan Patrick Halligan
Cyberbullying
Stop Cyberbullying

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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