Cyberbullying has drawn a lot of attention from the media, school administration, and left parents apprehensive towards social networking. And frankly it should. Cyberbullying is very hard to detect, hard to identify who the bully is, and when it is identified it’s hard to prevent further emotional attacks. There needs to be measures in place to stop this extreme harassment and further pain, but it becomes a very difficult task when parents can’t monitor everything there child does online and public school jurisdiction is limited by the constitution. In class, I shared a story that affected my high school. Two students engaged in a verbal conflict on facebook via wall posts. As the fight escalated many people got involved while others were glued to their computer screens watching it all unfold. The next day the students confronted each other in the cafeteria and the fight accelerated into a physical altercation. Both students were sent to the office and were suspended. The following day a students who was a mutual friend of both parties was called into the office and asked to log onto facebook in order for the administration to further investigate this situation. The student proceeded with the request and allowed the teachers to examine each snarky rejoinder.
In this situation it was very clear that the school needed to get involved and take action. I believe that the administration handled it correctly in regards to the constitutionality of its actions. Because the physical alternation occurred on school grounds; they had jurisdiction to punish the students through suspension. In addition, I believe that asking another student to log in to their facebook account was valid. They were not requiring the student to log in or give them their password. The comments and cyberbullying was not through direct message but rather on a public forum for all of there friends to see. The metaphor of asking a person to open the door and looking out into their neighbor’s window I believe validates the actions that were taken. Schools have additional rights to ensure the safety of students learning environment, which further exemplifies that these proceedings needed to be taken.
When bullying or character attacks are geared towards children, their needs to be greater protection or more awareness than it would be for adults. Children are much more impressionable and more likely to make rash and permanent decisions. That’s why its important that parents and schools work together to combat the harsh reality of cyberbullying.