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nebraska29
In a stellar piece, the New York Times published a great account of the troubles public schools face in dealing with cyber-bullying. One case decision said that although mean messages are accessed on school grounds on cell phones, that the school erred in disciplining a girl who made a youtube video off campus where she and some other girls mocked a classmate. I find this particular finding nauseating as the political speech case of Tinker V. DeMoines is used to justify bullying. the justices point out the "substantial disruption" portion of the decision and state that it does not mean that complete chaos needs to be necessary, but creating unrest between students and a threatening atmosphere is evidently o.k. dry.gif


Questions for debate:

1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

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Eeyore
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

I believe that schools can create a system where constitutionally they can act against cyber-bullying. They need to set clear policies and enforce them as written. In short they need to catch up to the issue.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

Unless they are school accounts the line should be the same as it is for all of us and the institutions we associate with. The school should not be going out and searching for information on students that exists on line (which is increasingly and understandably happening now by employers) but they should be able to react to information that is reported to them in regards to school bullying issues. And if this is deemed beyond the scope of a school's authority, local regulation should be able to give local police this authority. There is not a need to increase big brother's powers here.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

I support making cell phones and laptops brought onto school searchable in just cause scenarios. I support mandating that items brought on campus be put under monitoring systems to determine whether such items are being used within school guidelines, but then again I am a teacher and I would love that tool to prove whether Jonny is telling the truth when he tells me he wasn't just texting or surfing the web off topic in my class.
Raptavio


1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

No, and no. Schools have the "jurisdiction" to regulate conduct in school or at school-sponsored functions, or using school-owned equipment.

What students do on their own time with their own resources is properly for parents to regulate. Schools should work with parents in that regard.

However, should a student's actions cause spillover into the school, and when it does, THEN the school has the right to intervene.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

If they're accessed on campus, it's in the school's jurisdiction. That IS the line.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

Not unless there is cause, and even then parental consent should be sought first.
ix chel
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

Ok, the schools argument says that it doesn´t matter where you throw the grenade from but where it lands. I tend to agree. In other cases for instance a shooting that occurs it depends on the location of the victim who has jurisdiction over the crime. The question is why isn´t the law also involved in these cases of bullying. There are laws and bullying is zero tolerance as it should be. The students should have been charged with sending threats via electronic communication devices which is a crime usually a felony.

In the case with the principal being defamed...I am sorry, but it is not free speech to harrass or defame someone´s character. That is not free speech as it is illegal to commit libel. Accusing someone of sex crimes clearly goes over that line.

Here is what the judge panel said:

QUOTE
A two-judge majority of the three-judge Third Circuit panel saw no First Amendment violation in J.S.'s suspension. Applying the test set forth by the Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., the panel found that J.S.'s posting could have caused substantial disruption of the school.


So if it has effect on the day at school or is against school officials yes I think that they are subjecting themselves to punishment at school. These are people that they are attacking in their school environments, namely their principal...not ever a good idea to make the principal mad at you for the fun of it or call him a pedophile...that isn´t free speech it is libel.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

Depends on how they use it..if they use it to attack the school, members of the school administration or other students then yes I think that they should be subject to school punishments. These are teens and school punishment isn´t jail...but I also think that threats should result in jail time.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

Absolutely, in school they have that authority according to rulings by the courts. In fact, there shouldn´t be cellphones in a school environment period. They should be automatically be subjected to being collected and thrown straight into the trash can if brought to school.
akaCG
NOTE: blue bolding mine.

QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 29 2010, 07:24 PM) *
...
3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

Absolutely, in school they have that authority according to rulings by the courts. In fact, there shouldn´t be cellphones in a school environment period. They should be automatically be subjected to being collected and thrown straight into the trash can if brought to school.


Which kind of "Libertarian" are you, again?
cicero
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

No and no. This is a parenting issue and like Raptavio said:

QUOTE
Schools have the "jurisdiction" to regulate conduct in school or at school-sponsored functions, or using school-owned equipment.

Although, I have a question about this:

QUOTE
However, should a student's actions cause spillover into the school, and when it does, THEN the school has the right to intervene.

What would qualify as a spillover and the schools can intervene how or in what way? Just curious, I would like to give my thoughts on this but I would appreciate your views first.



A case like this hits home for me granted it never went to the courts but it would have and it was not cyber-bullying but it is in relation to school power. Here is what happened it occurred at the school I attended which was a private high school. A friend of mine had a blog and one day he wrote about the principle saying how he disliked him and his policies (he was a strange principle). Word got around and the Principle and faculty found out. The school then proceeded to force him to remove what he had said. No joke, a school wide debate took place amongst the students over free speech. Well, the school I went to is full of parents who are lawyers and when they found out it was brought to the attention of the school that they had no right to force my friend to remove what he has written. It was his first amendment right plus it was on the internet making it even more protected. Least to say the school gave up and let things be.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

When accessed on campus on campus computers. If someone brings their personal laptop to school (middle or high school) then obviously students should be subjected to some regulation. College is another story.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

QUOTE
Amendment IV

(Pivacy of the Person and Possessions)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This is the 21st Century and so cell phones, laptops, cars, etc are all protected but that does qualify under effects.
ix chel
One who has been a teacher...when you are in school it is like your job..you can´t talk on your cell phone at your job unless it has to do with your work itself...chit chat in a school environment has no place there...and I had a canister that I deposited cell phones in until the end of the year...and yes, I enforced the rule and yes, it worked. I also took calculators, Ipods, etc...school is where you bring yourself to do your job as a student. If you don´t want to be a student then you have the option of leaving. Sorry, but being a libertarian is very different from allowing chaos in a school room.

Also, searches at school according to the courts is a lesser standard than one in the public forum for some reason...I would tend to think that a cell phone would require a warrant, except many schools forbid cell phones from being there in the first place so they are subject to being siezed from the student and held as an illegal item in school. Most school systems do outright ban cell phones. I didn´t need a cell phone attached to me when I was in school and neither does my son.

A school setting requires some easing of the restrictions to which searches by public authorities are ordinarily subject.The court ruled that neither the warrant requirement or the probable cause standard applied, rather a reasonableness standard is used. In order for the search to be valid reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. Additionally searches must, not [be] excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction or discriminatory on the basis of age, sex, or race.
akaCG
QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 29 2010, 10:12 PM) *
One who has been a teacher...when you are in school it is like your job..you can´t talk on your cell phone at your job unless it has to do with your work itself...chit chat in a school environment has no place there...and I had a canister that I deposited cell phones in until the end of the year...and yes, I enforced the rule and yes, it worked. I also took calculators, Ipods, etc...school is where you bring yourself to do your job as a student. If you don´t want to be a student then you have the option of leaving. Sorry, but being a libertarian is very different from allowing chaos in a school room.

Also, searches at school according to the courts is a lesser standard than one in the public forum for some reason...I would tend to think that a cell phone would require a warrant, except many schools forbid cell phones from being there in the first place so they are subject to being siezed from the student and held as an illegal item in school. Most school systems do outright ban cell phones. I didn´t need a cell phone attached to me when I was in school and neither does my son.

A school setting requires some easing of the restrictions to which searches by public authorities are ordinarily subject.The court ruled that neither the warrant requirement or the probable cause standard applied, rather a reasonableness standard is used. In order for the search to be valid reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. Additionally searches must, not [be] excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction or discriminatory on the basis of age, sex, or race.


Were you a teacher in a public school?

When?

In what country?
ix chel
In Honduras, and yes in both a public and private school..it has been about eight years ago when I came for two school seasons and taught in a friend´s school while I was finishing up my nurse prac licensing and nursing degree.

That said though..my son went to public school in the US and lost a cell phone for taking it to school and I agreed with the teacher..it goes to school, you lose it.
CruisingRam
QUOTE(akaCG @ Jun 29 2010, 03:57 PM) *
NOTE: blue bolding mine.

QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 29 2010, 07:24 PM) *
...
3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

Absolutely, in school they have that authority according to rulings by the courts. In fact, there shouldn´t be cellphones in a school environment period. They should be automatically be subjected to being collected and thrown straight into the trash can if brought to school.


Which kind of "Libertarian" are you, again?


Libertarians, though certainly in no way nearly as monolithic as any other party, certainly seem to differentiate between minor's rights and an adults rights. I think, rightly so, that a minor's rights to free speech, associations etc can and should be limited by law and by parents authority. If this were an issue between adults, it would be no real debate- and the consequences for bad behaviors set as adult punishments. For instance, a 14 year old boy may be banned from being a member of NAMBLA. mad.gif

I see no problem at all with a complete cell phone ban on all school campus, as well as uniforms and other rules that limit a minor's rights and behaviors on AND off campus. Except where the school pre-empts the parents right to raise thier children. Banning cell phones or certain off campus behaviors are within a public school's rights.

Libertarians don't simply give adult RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES to minors. As it should be, libertarians aren't crazy I don't believe. rolleyes.gif - after all, the libertarians AREN'T tea baggers or anything like that.... whistling.gif
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Raptavio
QUOTE(cicero @ Jun 29 2010, 08:30 PM) *
QUOTE
However, should a student's actions cause spillover into the school, and when it does, THEN the school has the right to intervene.

What would qualify as a spillover and the schools can intervene how or in what way? Just curious, I would like to give my thoughts on this but I would appreciate your views first.


That's a very hairy question and it obviously depends on a lot of things.

For instance, if Jenny on her Facebook page says that Lucy has sex for money, and then Bobby and Darrell read the facebook post and start harassing Lucy at school calling her a prostitute (or, offer Lucy money in exchange for sexual favors at school), then there's a school issue, and I think Jenny should be as accountable as Bobby and Darrell.

This gets to be more clearly over the line if Jenny, Bobby and Darrell overtly conspired off-campus to give Lucy a hard time on-campus even if only Bobby and Darrell did the actual bullying on-campus.
Dontreadonme
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

Absolutely not. Children are part-time students...full-time wards of their parents, not the state. If a crime has been committed [such as conveying a threat, menacing...whatever it's called in a given jurisdiction], then the LE authorities can be notified and appropriate action taken. Speaking for myself, THAT is a Libertarian position. Punishing students during or in connection with school based on the thin relationship that both parties attend the same school is invasive and authoritarian.

Threatening another person is already against the law, but voicing dissent over school administration is clearly not....though administrators often attempt to punish those who do. Yet another example of shut up and do as we say.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?

I don't see the need to cater to social networking during school or with school devices. It is not a component of the curriculum, and quite frankly not under the purview of reasons my tax dollars go towards public education.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

Cell phones and laptops need not be permitted on school grounds....besides why would you need to comb through a students laptop in connection with an event that didn't occur on school grounds, as stated in answer #1.
cicero
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jun 30 2010, 10:42 AM) *
QUOTE(cicero @ Jun 29 2010, 08:30 PM) *
QUOTE
However, should a student's actions cause spillover into the school, and when it does, THEN the school has the right to intervene.

What would qualify as a spillover and the schools can intervene how or in what way? Just curious, I would like to give my thoughts on this but I would appreciate your views first.


That's a very hairy question and it obviously depends on a lot of things.

For instance, if Jenny on her Facebook page says that Lucy has sex for money, and then Bobby and Darrell read the facebook post and start harassing Lucy at school calling her a prostitute (or, offer Lucy money in exchange for sexual favors at school), then there's a school issue, and I think Jenny should be as accountable as Bobby and Darrell.

This gets to be more clearly over the line if Jenny, Bobby and Darrell overtly conspired off-campus to give Lucy a hard time on-campus even if only Bobby and Darrell did the actual bullying on-campus.


Your answer comes close to mine which basically means the situations can be complicated but more importantly it depends case by case. I had started writing out a rather large scenario but stopped realizing how long it would be.
------

In terms of banning cell phones on school grounds I would think at the very least that cell phones must be turned off and in the locker or backpack away from the student. This is not free time for kids and young adults but learning time. However, I say that with what I thought to not only be a common standard in schools across America but also common sense.

The question is not whether students have the right to use their cell phone or laptop (more on that is a second) during class or even during the day at school but rather if teachers and other school officials have the right to regulate. Regulating has a much broader connotation than say allowing students to use thier cell phone etc.

In the context of regulating powers schools may have to regulate student’s cell phones, computers, social sites, and etc I would say they have some authority but certainly not limitless. School officials have no right to search cell phones without probable cause or reason but without any context I cannot say when that applies. However, in J.C. V. BEVERLY HILLS UNIFIED SCHOOLDISTRICT (one of the cases mentioned in this debate) under the context of whether or not the school had the right to discipline the girl who made Youtube videos off campus I too would say the school has no such power or right.

Laptops make for an interesting discussion as they are being integrated more into the school system especially more modernized schools. Most of the laptops are issued by the schools meaning they are school property. Regular computers are being integrated more into the classroom as well. This is just all part of the times. Students learn differently and computers help, but not always, in the learning process. Obviously if a laptop is school issued then schools have full rights to monitor or regulate their own laptops or computers. Students should not be on Myspace, Facebook, or Youtube during school anyway. That does not mean though schools have the authority to go on Jimmy’s Facebook and read everything he has on his page. There may be a situation where the school may take notice and ask for permission but I believe it is a parental decision and right not the schools.
akaCG
QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 30 2010, 12:16 AM) *
... my son went to public school in the US and lost a cell phone for taking it to school and I agreed with the teacher..it goes to school, you lose it.


Confiscated permanently and, as you put it, thrown in the trash can?

Really?
Dontreadonme
Not being a weapon or narcotic, the discarding of a cell phone is tantamount to theft.
akaCG
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Jun 30 2010, 04:30 PM) *
Not being a weapon or narcotic, the discarding of a cell phone is tantamount to theft.


Yup. Hence my earlier question regarding what kind of Libertarian would support school authorities' taking such an action.
nebraska29
QUOTE(akaCG @ Jun 30 2010, 02:46 PM) *
QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 30 2010, 12:16 AM) *
... my son went to public school in the US and lost a cell phone for taking it to school and I agreed with the teacher..it goes to school, you lose it.


Confiscated permanently and, as you put it, thrown in the trash can?

Really?


A lot of schools have rules about cell phones. Some allow kids to carry them, they just have to be on mute and if it rings in class, it is confiscated for the rest of the day or week. I know of one district that calls the parents to pick it up after the third time it is confiscated. After that, junior knocks it off. As long as you put it in the student handbook and get the signatures, a school is good to go. if a student runs afoul of the rule, then they only have themselves to blame, though "rescue" parents will enable their children no matter what. dry.gif When they do that, I don't think that is libertarian, as libertarianism purports to be for individuals taking responsibility for their actions. If anything, these policies encourage that.

The primary job of schools is to teach children. If junior is texting or disrupting class, why shouldnt he lose the phone for a day or week or until mom and dad can go up to the school to get it? It is no different than following "rules" of the road or any other rule in society.
akaCG
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Jun 30 2010, 07:22 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Jun 30 2010, 02:46 PM) *
QUOTE(ix chel @ Jun 30 2010, 12:16 AM) *
... my son went to public school in the US and lost a cell phone for taking it to school and I agreed with the teacher..it goes to school, you lose it.


Confiscated permanently and, as you put it, thrown in the trash can?

Really?


A lot of schools have rules about cell phones. Some allow kids to carry them, they just have to be on mute and if it rings in class, it is confiscated for the rest of the day or week. I know of one district that calls the parents to pick it up after the third time it is confiscated. After that, junior knocks it off. As long as you put it in the student handbook and get the signatures, a school is good to go. if a student runs afoul of the rule, then they only have themselves to blame. Though "rescue" parents will enable their children no matter what. dry.gif When they do that, I don't think that is libertarian, as libertarianism purport responsibility and self-responsibility. If anything, these policies encourage that.

The primary job of schools is to teach children. If junior is texting or disrupting class, why shouldnt he lose the phone for a day or week or until mom and dad can go up to the school to get it? It is no different than following "rules" of the road or any other rule in society.


It appears that I neglected to highlight certain bits of my post(s). Something like this, perhaps:

"Confiscated permanently and, as you put it, thrown in the trash can ?"

Hope that helps.
ix chel
Yes, confiscated permenantly; as in put in trash can....as one person pointed out..I could have went and got it, and they would have given it to me...but where is that making him take responsibility for his behavior if I always rescue him? He violated the rule twice before, I went and got it...the third time it was sent to the disposal where trash goes and it was his fault because I refused to pick it up that time...and yes, that would be a Libertarian parent for you...or actually a good parent that doesn´t always bail their child out of trouble.

Cruising..AMEN! Children´s and adults rights are two different ball games and I as a Libertarian don´t give Libertarian rights to my employees and I consider children at their job when they are at school..when they turn 18, pay taxes, have a job, pay bills..then they can be Libertarians, until then...well sorry, but my home is a dictatorship!

Why would you need to comb through a laptop?

I tend to agree that there is not a limitless power here...so don´t confuse my saying that you can from probable cause..I do believe that there needs to be probable cause or that there should be anyway. Though lockers can be searched without any cause at all and without warrants. However, the case that was discussed or one of them anyway...one of the students made a fake profile using the principal´s name...that is at worst identity theft and at best libel and is certainly fraudulent use of an electronic device or using an electronic device to harrass someone else. That is probable cause imo. No one has a right to make another person, even the principal...not even joking around...to appear as a sex offender. Remember the case recently in Texas where Topix had to reveal hundreds of identities because someone that was innocent was libeled on the group...the judge in fact ordered that the anonymous identities and IP addresses be turned over to them and people are being sued at this very moment for libeling a couple and making them appear as drug addicts and sex offenders when they were not. These are serious things...before a young girl killed herself and the example of the Texas couple I might have felt slightly differently..but when you take on someone else´s identity falsely then you have lost your immunities imo to not have your stuff searched by the person that was harmed and authorities.
Dontreadonme
The cell phone goes to the students parents, along with the reason for suspension. Throwing the cellphone away is theft. Theft by the state, while pervasive, is decidedly anti-Libertarian.
nebraska29
I must be missing something. What district would throw it away? If anyone could post the handbook url from the district page or type it from a handbook they have, it would be greatly appreciated.
CruisingRam
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Jun 30 2010, 04:09 PM) *
The cell phone goes to the students parents, along with the reason for suspension. Throwing the cellphone away is theft. Theft by the state, while pervasive, is decidedly anti-Libertarian.


Ix Chel, I have to agree with DTOM on this one- the cell phone is an expensive piece of personal property, and the state (school) has no right destroying or confiscating personal property ( in the US) without some kind of due process- since the property is actually owned by the parent- NOT the student- as the student usually has limited or no ownership rights unless the courts have recognized it in some sort of hearing- and even then, it is usually placed in some sort of trustee-ship.

So while I have no problem with a zero tolerance cell phone rule in public school, the property has no business being destroyed or confiscated by the state, and should be returned to the parent, and the second offense should be expulsion, permanent if it continues.
ix chel
Oh I believe the rule is you can pick it up at the end of the year. However, I probably could have picked it up before then..I just refused so they can´t keep it and have to dispose of unclaimed property. I doubt they would actually throw it away outright if a parent protests..but they can keep it till the end of the year. Understand this is a school in Georgia and we butted heads over them having church service before school in the gym where students were gathered.(no I am not kidding)
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/...-cellphone-ban/

QUOTE
When students bring items to school that violate school rules, those items will be
confiscated and kept in the office until picked up by the parent or guardian.
Confiscated items must be claimed not later than two (2) weeks after the end of the
semester. Unclaimed items will be discarded. Neither the school nor the school system
are responsible for the security of confiscated items.


http://images.schoolinsites.com/SiSFiles/S...ms/Handbook.pdf



Note, I wasn´t so worried about losing it ..it was a ten dollar cell phone.
nebraska29
Thanks for the explanation ix. That is no different than when at the end of the year, a given school has a closet filled with jackets, long shirts, and even shoes left in the gym from games throughout the year. The school then donates it to charity or trashes it. Common practice. dry.gif


Getting back to the case at hand, I am still a bit floored that a bully is protected by Tinker on campus. If you access the video on campus on your phone, then you're in trouble. That is the why it should be. As ix posted before, the school doesn't care where the grenade was thrown from, they care where it detonated, and that would be on their campus grounds. Could anyone make a plausible argument that the young lady in question did not intend for it to go on campus? That must've been why she told other girls at school about it right? dry.gif
Julian
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Jun 29 2010, 11:13 PM) *
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?


No, but it's illegal - the police can and should have those powers, and the punishments are more severe than anything the schools can come up with. If "students" (which still sticks in my craw - "student" implies voluntary study not compulsory education, so doesn't compute for me in the context of secondary or primary education) or their parents aren't happy with that, they can always avoid being a cyber bully in the first place.

QUOTE
2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?


The only computers that "students" use on school time and premises should be those provided by the school. And social networking sites (and anything else inappropriate for use on school time) should be blocked by the school's firewall.

QUOTE
3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?


No, but they are searchable by police with a warrant. In school, personal cellphones and laptotps are in the same category as personal XBox 360s and PS3s - they shouldn't be brought into school, and if they are, they should be confiscated for the duration of the school day (i.e. picked back up and taken home afterwards). I think some kind of lockable storage area is sensible - an analogy might be car parks. Kids can drive to and from school, but they don't get to drive between or during lessons. (Except driving lessons.)
Mrs. Pigpen
1.)Constitutionally and ethically, should schools have the power to punish students for off-campus "cyber-bullying"?

From my perspective, the purpose of education is to prepare students for life. How would an employer respond to cyber-bullying of one employee to another? I think I agree with Eeyore, it's in the school's interest to set a policy against bullying, and enforce them as written. Parents agree to the terms for the privilege of an education for their kids...or they can take them elsewhere. There's no bullying at my son's middle school, because they set such a policy and kick the kids out if they violate it. And then the kids have to go to the schools off-base which are awful, which upsets both them and the parents. Ergo, there's no bullying problem (or at least nothing that would leave proof like YouTube or emails).

On the other hand, most of the victims and perpetrators in the article sounded as though they were too young to be on facebook in the first place. My oldest son is going in to the seventh grade and I can't imagine letting him have a facebook account or text on his cell all of the time. And parts of the article were a little strange...in the first example, the parents said they didn't want to make it "an issue" with the perpetrator's parents as it would be "uncomfortable" because the parents coached together. But they did expect the principal to do something FOR THEM. Well parenting is a job also. If someone hurts your child you confront that person, and if it's a minor you confront the person and his/her parents.

And speaking of bad parenting, I cannot believe the extent parents have gone to to protect their child's "right" to ridicule peers over YouTube. If my kid had done something like that, I'd be seeing red and taking away computer privileges, not suing the school and keeping the insulting juvenile video up. What is wrong with these parents? Here's an idea....There should be a consequence for being a crappy parent. Maybe the parents of the little darlings should be exposed on YouTube with a public announcement of their names, just how crappy their parenting skills are with a list of direct examples, what their kids have done along with a description of trait attributes "stupid" "fat" "ugly" "juvenile" ect. People like that should be exposed and ostracized....I'd sure as heck like to know if I was living next door to one of those. Raising a brat intentionally should have some social consequences.

2.)What is "the line" when it comes to regulating student e-mail, videos, or social network pages created off line and accessed on campus?
If students have access to online material while in class I think such things should be monitored.

3.)Should cellphones and laptops be searchable items, much like a student's locker is?

If they bring such items to school, I think it's fair game for search. They really shouldn't be looking at the things in school anyway. Throwing away is another matter. I bought my son a cell phone because I need him to pick up his brother after school and walk home (since during the school months I'm at work for a couple of hours after). I always call about five minutes after school is over to make sure my son remembers to pick up his brother, and to make sure everything is okay and there aren't any issues. It's pretty important that he keeps that phone, and it's also important that he has it in his possession when he leaves school because that's when I most need to contact him. However, he isn't permitted to touch it or take it out (or even have it turned on) during schooltime.
cicero
I have taken some time to read and review this article on cyber bullying and schools. Being far from done I do have some points to make and thoughts on the issue at hand.

Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray

QUOTE
The girl’s parents, wild with outrage and fear, showed the principal the text messages: a dozen shocking, sexually explicit threats, sent to their daughter the previous Saturday night from the cellphone of a 12-year-old boy. Both children were sixth graders at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J.
Before I comment I want to say that, again, I have read the article and understand the outcome of this particular situation with this girl and boy.

That said I have to ask, even though it is often asked, what is wrong with our society? Did I miss something? I do not remember sending sexual threats to girls at the age of twelve (or ever)! I did not even have a cell phone or allowed on the internet or even on the computer without some sort of parental supervision at that age. We as a society really need to look at ourselves as a whole and question why this is happening. People need to go Chomsky on the social aspects of society. I can easily list some reasons but not here, not now but maybe another topic.

QUOTE
“I said, ‘This occurred out of school, on a weekend,’ ” recalled the principal, Tony Orsini. “We can’t discipline him.”

Had they contacted the boy’s family, he asked.

Too awkward, they replied. The fathers coach sports together.
Too awkward? Your child is being sent sexually explicit threats and you can’t even talk to what I would think is a friend on some level about their son? Yes, it will be touchy and difficult but come on! If they are or are not friends at least I would expect them to be reasonable adults who can talk this over.

In my personal opinion, both sides are at fault because for one, the parents let them date (as the article explains) and two, hormones are starting to kick in and I am sure both the girl and the boy said some things they should not have.

For those who have not read the school finds out that apparently the boy did not send those text but I will get to that.

QUOTE
Often, school district discipline codes say little about educators’ authority over student cellphones, home computers and off-campus speech. Reluctant to assert an authority they are not sure they have, educators can appear indifferent to parents frantic with worry, alarmed by recent adolescent suicides linked to bullying
. I am going to look into the numbers more and even try to find if there is historical research looking at bullying and suicides. I’m interested in seeing if suicides have increased and, if so when and why. If anyone has some information to share please do. No matter what we may all think I am sure that we all agree that this is a serious issue.

QUOTE
A few states say that school conduct codes must explicitly prohibit off-campus cyberbullying; others imply it; still others explicitly exclude it. Some states say that local districts should develop cyberbullying prevention programs but the states did not address the question of discipline.

I am interested in reading the laws of the states who “explicitly prohibit off-campus cyber-bullying” because the sound of it sounds unconstitutional but I don’t know it till I read it. For now here is a wiki map of the states and their bully laws. Not sure if it’s accurate but it will do for now.

QUOTE
A sixth-grade girl dashes to class, wearing a turquoise T-shirt with bold sequined letters: “Texting Is My Favorite Subject.”
Call me old fashion but texting is ruining our country... laugh.gif

QUOTE
The seventh-grade guidance counselor says she can spend up to three-fourths of her time mediating conflicts that began online or through text messages.
What a waste of time. What these kids should be doing is learning and not taking up all the time of school which is mentioned again in the article. I am not against the councilor either. I just wish these kids parents would take away their cell phones and not allow them on Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, etc.

QUOTE
In April, the burden of resolving these disputes had become so onerous that the principal, Mr. Orsini, sent an exasperated e-mail message to parents that made national news:

“There is absolutely NO reason for any middle school student to be part of a social networking site,” he wrote...
Ok, I agree...

QUOTE
If children were attacked through sites or texting, he added, “IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE POLICE!” That was not the response that the parents of the girl who had received the foul messages had wanted to hear.
Ok, overreaction. Word to the parents, “Be a Parent.” To the schools, “Stay out of my business.” I really do feel for the school because of all the time they have to waste on this pre-teen to teen nonsense.

OK, it gets long here so here is a quick overview. As I said, the two dated and it was for a week before they broke it off. The girl, before she complained about the texts deleted her replies. The boy tells school officials that he had lost the phone. I will let the article tell the rest:

QUOTE
By Wednesday, the girl’s father called Mr. Orsini. “How is this boy still in school, near my daughter? Why can’t you suspend him?”

The boy was a poor student in language arts classes, yet the text messages were reasonably grammatical. Mr. Wu dictated a basic sentence for the boy to write down. It was riddled with errors.

Next, an elementary school principal interviewed the fifth-grade boys separately.

By Thursday, Mr. Orsini telephoned the girl’s parents with his unsettling conclusion:

The boy had never sent the texts. The lost phone had been found by someone else and used to send the messages. Who wrote them? A reference or two might suggest another sixth grader.

The identity would remain unknown.
I give the school credit here because they were able to pick up on the fact that the boy is a poor writer and the text messages were “reasonable grammatical.” Perhaps the boy lied or maybe he really was innocent and that is where another problem lies. The issues can be complicated.

QUOTE
Meredith Wearley, Benjamin Franklin’s seventh-grade guidance counselor, was overwhelmed this spring by dramas created on the Web: The text spats that zapped new best friendships; secrets told in confidence, then broadcast on Facebook; bullied girls and boys, retaliating online.

“In seventh grade, the girls are trying to figure out where they fit in,” Mrs. Wearley said. “They have found friends but they keep regrouping. And the technology makes it harder for them to understand what’s a real friendship.”

Because students prefer to use their phones for texting rather than talking, Mrs. Wearley added, they often miss cues about tone of voice. Misunderstandings proliferate: a crass joke can read as a withering attack; did that text have a buried subtext?

The girls come into her office, depressed, weeping, astonished, betrayed.

“A girl will get mad because her friend was friends with another girl,” Mrs. Wearley said.

They show Mrs. Wearley reams of texts, the nastiness accelerating precipitously. “I’ve had to bring down five girls to my office to sort things out,” she said. “It’s middle school.”
This here is modern pre-teen to teen age life. It is harsh and many times stupid but we have all gone though it on some level. I will admit that the times are different. Technologies including texting and social sites have changed the way people associate and relate with one another. Friendships have evolved often becoming nothing but shallow shells. Kids these days have lost self worth and appreciation amongst other necessary tendencies. I have not read it yet but I have been following this trend and people need to read: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.

QUOTE
Recently, between classes, several eighth-grade girls from Benjamin Franklin reflected about their cyberdramas:

“We had so many fights in seventh grade,” one girl said. “None of them were face-to-face. We were too afraid. Besides, it’s easier to say ‘sorry’ over a text.”

Another concurred. “It’s easier to fight online, because you feel more brave and in control,” she said. “On Facebook, you can be as mean as you want.”
This is such a Hollywood generation. The internet, texting, and other non-face to face interactions have created a society in which people lack social culpability.

Alright, I am done for now.
nebraska29
QUOTE
I am going to look into the numbers more and even try to find if there is historical research looking at bullying and suicides. I’m interested in seeing if suicides have increased and, if so when and why. If anyone has some information to share please do. No matter what we may all think I am sure that we all agree that this is a serious issue.



One interesting tidbit.

QUOTE
In our quantitative study, we found that youth who experienced traditional bullying or cyberbullying, as either an offender or a victim, scored higher on a well-validated suicidal ideation scale than those who had not experienced those two forms of peer aggression. Moreover, bullying and cyberbullying victimization was a stronger predictor of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than bullying and cyberbullying offending.
We also found that traditional bullying victims were 1.7 times more likely and traditional bullying offenders were 2.1 times more likely to have attempted suicide than those who were not traditional victims or offenders. Similarly, cyberbullying victims were 1.9 times more likely and cyberbullying offenders were 1.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide than those who were not cyberbullying victims or offenders.


That piece and more can be found here. Also, this presentation pdf. document is loaded with statistics. A good place to start.



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