Cyberbullying/States and Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying in the United States of America
While social media was meant to bring people together in a positive way to interact and a way of communicating, often the interaction is harmful. Due to this, some social media applications have become on the forefront for school administrators and educators to pay close attention to. In schools, causing harm to one’s self as a result of cyberbullying is being viewed as a major concern. Cyberbullying is caused by students creating harmful acts using technology.
However, the United States recognizes this ever increasing problem among people especially children, ages five to eighteen years old. Teens are attracted the most to social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yik Yak, Vine, Ask.fm, Snapchat, etc. It is challenging to distinguish cyberbullying. Legislation defines electronic communication, cyberbullying, and social media as an intimidation factor that may cause harassment or harm to an individual.
Individual states have enacted cyberbullying laws. Schools are experiencing problems with how to deal with cyberbullying and the type of consequences that should be given based on slander, rumors, threats, bodily harm and bomb threats. Most importantly, social media is a hangout for people to express their feelings that can sometimes lead to being harmful and hurtful. For these reasons, below are a list of references for individual states. This feature below will allow you to view each state’s law or policy addressing cyberbullying and/or harassment.
New Hampshire: http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/new-hampshire.html
New Mexico: http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/PEDAnti-Bullying.html
Rhode Island http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/rhode-island.html
South Carolina http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/south-carolina.html
South Dakota http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/south-dakota.html
West Virginia wvde.state.wv.us/it-does-matter/anti-bullying-rules.php
Ivester, M.(2011) lol...OMG!What Every STudent Needs to Know about Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying. Nevada. Serra Knight Publishing.
Willard, N. (2009) Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social Aggression, Threats, and Distress.
While we realize that this site will not stop cyberbullying from taking place, we hope to raise the awareness of the topic. Cyberbullying is a rapidly growing problem today with the latest technology. Having the knowledge of what your state law or policy is, may affect the way you view cyberbullying.
Administrators, teachers, parents, and students all play a vital role in preventing cyberbullying from taking place. A collaborative effort must be made from all stakeholders in order to protect students from this critical issue. These websites are just a glimpse into what each state mandates. As laws and policies change, as they so often do, so will the resources needed to educate others.
The safety of schools is increasingly becoming a focus of state legislative action. School bullying and harassment policies have enacted legislation to address cyberbullying. There are thirty-four states that address bullying. States should be addressing issues to ensure the safety of students by recognizing the growing problems of bullying. This would hopefully attenuate harassment, intimidation,and violence; none of which should take place in the education system.
The main focus of legislation continuing to enforce policies is to protect children, but protection for people of all ages is becoming more prevalent. Recently, studies from research show that policies and laws have been implemented in an effort to stop this behavior. Legislation, school districts, and researchers are developing and implementing policies and strategies to alleviate bullying. Individual schools should and develop and modify techniques that are effective in achieving student conflict resolution. Mentoring and counseling programs are also being offered in attempt to aide in this effort.