State of Maryland: •The bill requires the state board of education to develop a model policyprohibiting bullying in schools, and it requires each county board to adopt its own policy by July 1, 2009 based on the model. •Unlike some other cyber-bullying laws, Marylands bill says even if the harassment takes place off school grounds, as long as it "substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school," administrators can report the incident. •The bill defines "bullying, harassment, or intimidation" as anything that is "threatening or seriously intimidating" and creates a hostile educational environment by interfering with a students education, or their physical orpsychological well-being. Unlawful bullying includes harassment "motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic," such as race, sex, religion or disability. •The prohibition against bullying covers "intentional conduct including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication."
Counties in MarylandAs required by law, the twenty-four local school systems inMaryland used the model policyas a basis for developing theirown policies.However, Maryland is one ofeight states that does notmandate a state-wide policy.
Country•In the United States, theres no federal law against cyber bullying yet. A bill introduced to the House of Representatives last yearwould make it against the law to "transmit in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior." Anyone found guilty of this crime could face a fine or a prison term of up to two years.•Several states have signed cyber bullying bills into law. States like Maryland, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and others have tried to define cyber bullying in a way that allows law enforcementofficials to charge bullies with specific crimes. These laws also raiseconcerns with free speech advocates. So while cyber bullying isnt illegal on the federal level in the United States, it is illegal within specific states.
States with Cyber Bullying Laws • 14 States =Yes• Federal =proposed bill • Washington DC =NO• 6 States= Proposed • 30 States= No www.cyberbullying.us