Wednesday - September, 26 2018
Bullying is a problem schools have faced for a long time. However, recently with the rise of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices, cyber bullying is becoming a major issue.
One of the difficulties school districts face is how to address cyber bullying without infringing upon students' First Amendment rights to free speech. Cases across the country continue to be litigated and the answers are not clear. However, even when electronic devices are used off-site, schools may have some authority over student cyber bullying if it is detrimental to the educational environment.
School administrations should take proactive steps to prevent cyber bullying from occurring. Some of the actions that should be taken are:
- Develop clear rules and policies to prohibit the use of schoool technologies to bully others.
- Educate students and staff members about what types of behavior constitute cyber bullying and how the school district's policies apply to them.
- Provide adequate supervision and monitoring of student use of technology.
- Establish systems for reporting cyber bullying or misuse of technology.
- Establish effective responses to reports of cyber bullying.