Cyberbullying: Comparing Bullying Laws in Minnesota and New Jersey

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Cyberbullying has become a new and growing problem within today’s society (Hanel, Trolley 33). On May 9th, 2007, the Minnesota State Legislature first amended the original bullying law from 2005 in attempt to strengthening it (Minnesota State Legislature, “Approved 2005”, “Amended 2007”). As stated on a report by the United States Department of Education, Minnesota has one of the weakest bullying laws in the nation (United States Department of Education, “Analysis”). Bully Police graded Minnesota’s law as a C-, the lowest grade of all bullying laws currently regulated in the U.S. (Weber, “MPR News Investigation”; Bully Police, “Minnesota 2007”).
Minnesota’s bullying law simply requires K-12 schools (elementary, middle, and high schools)
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Traditional bullying can happen face-to-face (Hinduja, Patchin, “Traditional and Nontraditional” 730). Physical bullying includes behavior such as hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, and pushing others. Psychological bullying includes verbal name-calling, teasing, swearing, insulting, embarrassing others, and such (Kowalski, Limber, Agatson 18; Shariff, “Cyber-Bullying” 11). This type of bullying can be easier to detect when teachers and other school officials can hear, see, and recognize those involved in the incident. Most of the time this is done on school grounds (Hinduja, Patchin, “Bullying” 121).
Cyberbullying is when psychological harm is done through the use of electronics such as computers, cell phones, e-mail, social networking, and instant messaging (Clancy 579-582; Hanel, Trolley 33). However, in addition to the verbal behaviors, cyberbullying can happen when someone posts pictures or videos without the consent of the other person, creates hate websites of the victim, makes web pages posing as the victim, and such (Hinduja, Patchin, “Traditional and Nontraditional” 728; Willard 1). Cyberbullying is done two ways: direct and indirect. Direct cyberbullying is when such material is sent directly from the bully to the victim. Indirect cyberbullying is when the bullying is done through another person, another person’s screen name or cell phone, anonymously, or by hacking

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