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Cracking Down on Cyberbullying

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There's an interesting story up on The Sacramento Bee about a new law that will take effect on Jan. 1 in California that allows school districts to punish students for cyberbullying.

Specifically, the law allows schools to suspend or expel students for bullying other students over the Internet, through text messages, and other electronic means. Part of the impetus for the passing of the bill was the case of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide after a complicated case of cyberbullying and deception on MySpace. (You can read more about that here.)

As cyberbullying becomes more and more of a problem for schools, I think it's only appropriate for schools to have the authority to be able to deal with it, just as they would a physical or verbal fight. At this point, cyberbullying—partly because of its anonymous capabilities—has become a major problem for many teens. A Pew Internet study (PDF) back in 2007 reported that about 13 percent of students had endured a rumor being spread about them online, and 13 percent said they'd received a threatening text message, email, or instant message. I can only imagine that those numbers have grown in the past year.

Digital Directions writer Michelle Davis wrote a fascinating story related to this topic a few months ago, if you're interested in learning more about how schools are dealing with the problems that arise with social-networking Web sites.

2 Comments

It's a sad state of affairs when we have to enact laws to do what parents should be doing: teaching little ones how to play nice.

If you want help preventing cyberbullying in your hom, this week we are giving away our PC Pandora monitoring software for free. You can get details here: http://blog.pcpandora.com/2008/12/30/pandora-corp%e2%80%99s-holiday-giveaway-has-successful-start .

I strongly urge all parents to check out and learn about the various ways in which this tool can help you keep your kids safer online. From helping to deter cyberbullying to preventing your child from visiting certain websites and talking to strangers, monitoring software gives you the control back in your house. It gives you all the knowledge you need about your child’s Internet activity so that you can be a more effective and better-informed 21st century parent. Check us out and help yourself while the offer stands and there are free copies left!!

Here’s to making the Internet a safer place in 2009!

Hi, nice blog. great info you are posting. I came accross your page and
immediatly thought about the social action rock band, Truth on Earth. They write amazing songs about socially concious issues in the world and they have a song about cyber bullying called 'Shot with a Bulletless Gun':

http://truthonearthband.com/song_bulletlessgun.html

It's very good (unlike anything out there today in the music world) and they give 70% of their profits to organzations supporting all of the world problems they sing about. They say their music and mission is guided in large part by their hero gandhi, who proved the best path to peace was through truth and non-violent protest. Check em out and exchange links with them.....They have a CD on
iTunes and amazon. heres the site: www.truthonearthband.com
Happy New Year & Ciao!! -Clarissa

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