Archive for Saturday, April 12, 2008

Governor signs bill aimed at cyberbullies

April 12, 2008

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has signed a bill requiring schools to prohibit cyberbullying.

The bill also expands opportunities for parents to participate in Parents as Teachers programs.

Sebelius said Friday that with more children staying after school to participate in activities or use the Internet, it's important for every child to feel safe and secure.

The bill requires school districts to prohibit bullying using school property and include the prohibition of cyberbullying.

It also expands the age of eligibility for students who qualify for parent education programs to any child under the age of eligibility to attend school, instead of just children under age 3.

Comments

Paul R Getto 8 years, 5 months ago

This could get interesting, now that the legislature has outlawed mean behaviors. Most severe bullying was already criminal and schools are required to report all crimes committed on their property, so, in a sense the law is unnecessary. The cyber part will create some interesting situations. Schools have full authority to control on-campus use of the internet, phones and other devices when used by staff and students, they always have. They also have authority to discipline students and staff if their off-campus behaviors, real or digital, seriously affect the educational program or environment. The problem, of course, is in the proof. If a "nexus" is established between the off-campus behaviors and the school's ability to function, something can be done. In any event, it is a growing concern and it will be interesting to see how the courts handle the serious issues it presents. By the way, both the 2007 and 2008 versions of the law prohibit bullying by both adults and children.

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