Cyber Bullying

By Edwin C. Darden

A punch in the eye seems so passé. Bullies these days are traveling in packs and using cyberspace to their humiliating messages online. Like the toughies of old, they are both boys and girls and they demand nothing less than total submission as the price of peace.

It’s a jungle out there.

For school districts, patrolling the hallways and adjacent grounds is just a start. In the 21st century, a new kind of vigilance is necessary—an expanded jurisdiction that serves to both stave off legal actions and ensure a safe and productive learning environment.

Today’s principals rely on district policy and practice to extend the presumed long arm of the law to off-campus incidents. Potentially, that could mean plunging headlong into the electronic frontier to rescue student victims and thwart cyberbullying classmates who thrive as faceless computer culprits.

Last month we looked at cybersullying, the phenomenon in which teachers or other school employees misuse technology to the point where it affects their job. This month we focus on the student side of the equation, and how the Internet, phones, and other devices become 21st Century bullying tools. 

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