Should Cyberbullying Be a Crime?

Schools throughout New York are preparing to put a new curriculum in place that will teach students civility and tolerance, to comply with new legislation intended to cut down on bullying.The 2010 legislation, called the Dignity for All Students Act, goes into effect July 1. It will require school districts to report instances of bullying to the state Education Department, and also mandates that schools adopt programs to counter bullying. see:Victims of cyberbullying fight back in lawsuits [AP]
When a Georgia middle school student reported to police and school officials that she had been bullied on Facebook, they told her there was not much they could do because the harassment occurred off campus.So the 14-year-old girl, Alex Boston, is using a somewhat novel strategy to fight back: She’s slapping her two classmates with a libel lawsuit. ’emoticon defense’ disprove cyberbullying? [AP]
Even if three Indiana girls were just kidding around and used emoticons and LOLs when they discussed killing classmates on Facebook, their talk still could be considered cyberbullying if it inflicted emotional harm, experts say.The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the eighth-graders this week, claiming the Griffith Public Schools district in northern Indiana violated the girls’ civil rights when it expelled them on the basis of a personal off-campus conversation that attorneys say shouldn’t have been taken so seriously.

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