Bullying in The Digital Age Presentation IV Lita-Marie Townsend, MPH Laurie Heikkila
Objectives This presentation will cover Current laws that pertain to bullying, specifically cyber bullying. Dealing with bullying and cyber bullying at school. Off Campus, After Hours, who is responsible, who is accountable? Preventing bullying behaviors at the school, individual and community levels.
Bullying Laws Recent incidents of bullying and harassment shine a spotlight on school bullying policies. While all policies are not the same, generally, public schools adopt policies by mandate. States have jurisdiction in creating and enacting bullying laws Most states currently have bullying laws, some have laws specific to cyber bullying The Safe and Drug Free Schools Act of (NCLB 2001) provides federal support to promote school safety but does not specifically address bullying and harassment in schools.
Hartzell/Ohio State Bar Association 3/2011 Bullying Laws Some bullying cases may constitute a violation of federal law. Title VI of the Civil Right Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination based on disability
Olweus/ National Association of State Boards of Education Bullying Laws Ohio Bullying and Harassment ORC 3313.666 (2007) requires the board of education to establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying, defined as: any intentional written, verbal, or physical act toward another student more than once that causes mental or physical harm and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the harassed student. ORC 3313.667 (2006) encourages school districts to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives. It also encourages districts to educate students and to provide training, workshops or courses on the district’s harassment, intimidation or bullying policy.
Olweus/ National Association of State Boards of Education Bullying Laws Ohio Cyber Bullying No cyber bullying law Hazing ORC 2903.31 (1983) forbids any person from recklessly participating in the hazing of another. School administrators, employees, and faculty members of public or private school may not permit the hazing of another person. Violation of this Code is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
Olweus/ National Association of State Boards of Education Bullying Laws Ohio Hazing cont. ORC 2307.44 (1983) allows victims of hazing to pursue civil actions for injuries and damages against any participants, organization who authorized, allowed, commanded, requested, or tolerated the hazing, and any local or national director, trustee, or officer of said organization. Action may be brought against any administrator, employee, of faculty member of the institution who knew or reasonably should have known of the hazing and did not make reasonable attempt to prevent it; if found liable, the educational institution may also be held liable.
Nancy Willard, 2007 Cyber Bullying and Schools It is widely accepted that: Schools have to address cyber bullying that occurs using district internet, or take home laptops, on or off school time. Schools also need to address incidents that happen using privately owned devices used by students while on campus or during school sponsored events. Schools should be responsible for providing some type prevention and education about cyber bullying and on-line safety to students and parents, staff and administrators.
Nancy Willard 2007 Cyber Bullying and Schools What about cyber bullying incidents that occur off school time, off school grounds, and not using school equipment? Legally, schools can respond to incidents that occur on-line ‘only when such speech causes, or threatens to cause substantial and material disruption at school or interference with rights of students to be secure’.
Cyber Bullying and Schools While having anti-bullying and harassment laws and policies in schools and communities is necessary, we cannot expect this alone to alleviate the problem. School Districts cannot be expected to shoulder this issue alone, neither can parents.
Cyber Bullying in Schools Communities across the country are beginning to understand the need for a more comprehensive approach. A comprehensive approach would include prevention as well as sanctions. A comprehensive approach must include students themselves, parents, school administrators, teachers and staff, and community members.
Coordinated School Health Model Many school districts have employed the coordinated school health model as the framework to implement prevention strategies for a myriad of health issues. The model endorsed by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as an effective way to improve student health and educational outcomes. This model may also be helpful in implementing a comprehensive strategy for bullying.
Coordinated School Health Model The CSH asserts that: After family, schools are the primary institution responsible for the development for the development of young people. Schools have direct contact with more than 95 percent of our nation’s young people aged 5–17 years, for about 6 hours a day, and for up to 13 critical years of their social, psychological, physical, and intellectual development. Schools play an important role in improving students’ health and social outcomes, as well as promoting academic success.
Coordinated School Health Model Looking at bullying through the CHS lense broadens the scope and involves those people who stand to have the greatest impact of school children. At the school building level, this might mean engaging administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, psychologists, parents, community leaders. Safe school environment would include security officers and facilities/custodial staff.
Conclusions The problems that communities are facing with cyber bullying require a broad response. Prevention and education strategies have to include educating adults as well as children. Prevention strategies need to be consistent in order to be effective.