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Cyber-bullying

By: Blair Chlebisch July 5th, 2011

Warwick School District, .(n.d.).Bullying / cyber-bullying policy. Retrieved from http://www.warwick.k12.pa.us/orgmodule.php?deptid=107&schoolid=0007&mid=248

The first policy I found was from the Warwick School District in PA. It is the policy for bullying/cyber-bullying, and what it is and the consequences for doing this act. It talks about students that break this rule will be dealt with by the staff and/or administration. It also goes on to say that this does not infringe on a students right to engage in legally protected speech. The strengths of this policy is that the definition of the term cyber-bullying is spelled out and is very clear by its meaning. Everyone knows what is meant by cyber-bullying, and there are no gray areas. It tells people what they are to do if the see or are being cyber-bullied by someone. It is easy to read, and again, it is spelled out so there are no hidden meanings. The weakness of this policy is that the policy does not specify exactly what the consequences will be. All it says is that the student will be dealt with by the staff and/or administration. So it is left up to the individual staff/administrator on what will happen to someone who breaks this rule? To me, that can be a bit dangerous. All it takes is a teacher/administrator to not like a person caught cyber-bullying, and that student will get a more severe punishment than a student that the teacher/administrator may like. I think the consequences need to be spelled out, so there are no questions when this comes about.

Bristol Public SchoolDistrict, . (2010, September 10). Students - bullying - cyberbullying. Retrieved from http://www.bristol.k12.ct.us/page.cfm?p=5730

The second policy that I found was from the Bristol Public School District, specifically Memorial Boulevard Middle Schools policy on Cyber-bullying in CT. The site talks about the schools policy about cyber-bullying talks about Internet usage at the school and the appropriateness of its use. It then talks about cyber-bullying and gives examples of what is considered cyber-bullying. It then goes on to talk about the consequences of someone caught cyber-bullying. The strengths of this policy is that it is written to where it is very easy to read. It gives the consequences that someone will receive if they are caught breaking this rule. I like that there are no gray areas in this area. The policy is very short and to the point, and is easy to read. I also like the fact that they bring the community into play, by saying if someone in the community sees this going on, they can bring it to the school administrator, and the school administrator will investigate ALL reports. This makes it more of a school/community bond, and makes everyone responsible for this. The weakness of this policy is that it defines cyber-bullying, and then gives some examples, but then it says these are not ALL the examples. This, to me, leaves gaps to where a teacher/administrator can then add in what they may think is cyber-bullying by their personal interpretation. This can become biased very quickly by how much the one caught is liked.

Gale Ranch Middle School, .(n.d.).District cyber-bullying policy. Retrieved from http://grms.schoolloop.com/cyberbullying

The last school policy I found was for Gale Ranch Middle School in CA. This policy talks about the definition of cyber-bullying first. It gives some examples of this and gives an explanation as well. It then goes on to talk about the consequences for breaking this rule. It then talks about the action steps to take if you feel you are being cyber-bullies. The strengths of this policy are that everything is spelled out. This policy talks just about cyberbullying and nothing else. The examples of cyber-bullying are there, the consequences are listed so there are no questions of what will happen if you are caught doing this. Then it lists the steps to take if you feel you are being cyber-bullied, which I really like. It gives people a procedure to follow so they know what they need to do to turn this act in. There is not much wrong with this policy as it is written to me. The only thing I can see that I might add more to are all the things that would be considered cyber-bullying. Other than that, everything else is spelled out being very easy to read, and leaving nothing to interpretation. This was the best school policy on cyber-bullying that I found.

Dalton Public School Cyber-bullying policy as created by Blair Chlebisch:

Definition of Cyber Bullying As posted by Wikipedia Cyber-bullying has been defined as "when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person". Cyber-bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech), ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation. Examples of cyber-bullying include: y y y y y Sending false, cruel, vicious messages Creating websites that have stories, cartoons, pictures, and jokes ridiculing others. Breaking into an email account and sending vicious or embarrassing materials to others. Engaging someone in electronic communication, tricking that person into revealing sensitive personal information and forwarding that information to others. Posting of a student picture without their permission

Consequences for cyber-bullying: If persons are caught cyber-bullying, they will receive the following consequences: y y y 1st offence 2 days of In School Suspension (ISS) 2nd offence 5 days of Out of School Suspension (OSS) 3rd offence Expulsion from the school

Steps to follow if you suspect you see someone or are being cyber-bullied: y y y y y y Save the evidence. (Print the online harassing; save/copy web address of photos) Identify the Cyber Bully Clearly tell the Cyber Bully to stop Bring documentation to school staff/administrator File a complaint with the Internet or cell phone company Contact the police (final action unless school staff/administrator tell you otherwise)