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Print 35 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Aug 16 at 6:17 PM

Seeks to expel students who digitally harass others

Lawmakers in California are considering a bill to punish bullies that harass fellow student via digital means, such as test messages or social networks like MySpace.

Introduced in the California legislature by Assemblyman Ted Lieu of Torrance, Assembly Bill 86 opens up the possibility of suspension or expulsion to students who threaten others via any electronic medium, defined as “any information … transmitted by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic or other similar means.”

With the advent of the internet, educators are finding it increasingly difficult to watch for the signs of bullying, as students trade physical altercations with digital ones – incidents that leave occur outside of school grounds and leave little in the way of visible scars.

A California government-sanctioned review of the bill notes inspiration from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Task Force on School and Campus Safety, which published a report suggesting schools increase their prevention activities against bullying in any form, “including cyber bullying.”

“The growth in the use of technology and social networking sites by younger Americans has fueled a fear among professionals that cyber bullying will become the means most often utilized to harass,” reads the report. “while certainly more prevalent in the elementary and secondary school setting, issues related to bullying or intimidation are increasingly relevant in other nontraditional settings.”

Much of legislators’ awareness of cyberbullying can be traced to the case of Megan Meier, a chronically-depressed 13-year-old who committed suicide in 2006 after a friendship with a “16-year-old boy” – really the parent of one of Meier’s friends, 49-year-old Lori Drew – turned south. A local police investigation eventually turned into a federal investigation, and in May 2008 Drew a federal grand jury indicted Drew on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorization.

The FBI’s “questionable” logic in choosing to prosecute Drew based on her decision to violate MySpace’s Terms of Service (TOS) has since kicked off a thriving debate among legal experts, with lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation informally offering to step in on Drew’s behalf.



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RE: Safe and Secure
By DASQ on 8/13/2008 10:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
You're the kind of overprotective reactionist that gets these kinds of ridiculous laws passed.

'Responsible' website. How is this different than a kid walking up to yours and calling him names? The bully is a verified part of your local school system. An otherwise cyber predator can reach your kid through many, many different means, if he has an email account, any kind of instant messaging of any kind.

The actual solution is to teach your kids what is right, what is wrong, and what to do if they are unsure. Chances are your kid is already scared sh*tless of telling you about the new friend he made online lest you ransack his personal life further.


RE: Safe and Secure
By Lerianis on 8/16/2008 6:12:35 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, but what is 'right' and 'wrong'. Each person had to decide that for themselves, and unfortunately (unless they are causing physical harm to someone else or property damage) no one else has the right to dictate to someone else what 'right' and 'wrong' is.

That's a period and done with there.

We just have to start NOT protecting our children, and have them live in the REAL WORLD. That is what my parents did for me when I was young: didn't protect me from jack shit and expected ME to report something if I didn't like it, which I did many times.


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