Cyberbullying And The First Amendment

849 WordsFeb 25, 20164 Pages
An Examination of Cyberbullying and the First Amendment This paper addresses a situation in which a student notified this author that she was being subjected to bullying through another classmate’s Facebook page. A discussion of steps required by Oregon’s statutes, the Lake Oswego School District 's board policies and the student handbook, will provide a basis for examining any First Amendment arguments that the bullying has raised, with a discussion of the author 's First Amendment responses consistent with applicable Supreme Court cases. Required Action under Oregon Statute Recently, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 1555 (2012), amending the state’s statutes surrounding issues of harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyberbullying (Oregon Department of Education, 2016). Cyberbullying is “conduct that disrupts a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment” (30 ORS § 339.353). The Senate Bill amendments include increased accountability for public school districts, which include the mandatory adoption of a policy prohibiting acts such as harassment and cyberbullying. The policy must also include the requirement that a school employee report such an act of cyberbullying to the appropriate school administrator (Hinduja & Patchin, 2016). Resultantly, the first step in this case is to report this alleged cyberbullying to the school principal. Having examined the state statute requirements for a circumstance of

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