Cyberbullying – The Virtual Playground and the First Amendment
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With each passing day, bullying is becoming all too common in schools across the world. As modern technology advances faster than a speeding bullet, young people are experiencing harassment via electronic mediums such as the cellular phone and the Internet. Not only has this had negative effects on the victim’s physical, emotional, and social well-being, but it has also affected the school environment.

The online community and the physical community are no longer separate realms. Over time, they have become entangled in the same world. As bullying in all its forms increases, parents and educators need to take a firm stand against such activity and make it known that it will not be tolerated. Prevention, and in the event of bullying occurring, proper intervention, need to be the means used to combat cyberbullying. Comprehensive school policies need to be carefully balanced against the constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

In the context of bullying, continuing education for school officials, parents, and children needs to be incorporated into schools’ curriculum. Students need to know that their cries for help will be heard by their parents and teachers, and parents and teachers need to listen to what the children are saying, even when they are silent.

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Nate Anderson, Cyberbullying and Schools: Where does a principal’s authority end?
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Tinker v. Des Moines School Districts, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).