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FEDERAL CYBERBULLYING LEGISLATION

Federal Cyberbullying Legislation in the U.S.


Samantha J. Sigler
Linfield College

FEDERAL CYBERBULLYING LEGISLATION

Table of Contents
Preface..3
Abstract....7
Essay....8
Background of Cyberbullying..9
Concept of Cyberbullying9
Cyberbullyings incidents..10
Cyberbullying Education in Schools.11
States Current Cyberbullying Legislation14
Cyberbullying and the First Amendment..15
Federal Cyberbullying Law...17
Conclusion.19
References..20

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Preface
Done. Finished. Complete. I cannot believe the moment is finally here, but I have
finished my full annotations for Information Gathering. I think that myself, along with everyone
else in the class, deserves a medal. Maybe even a gift card to Starbucks. Even with as much work
that I have done this semester, I believe that this class was worth every minute of labor.
I was terrified going into Information Gathering. I had heard about a terrible 100-page
paper, countless students failing and essays being graded in front of the entire class. Now,
looking at the close of this semester, I know that all of those rumors were true. However, I also
learned that none of those rumors affected my performance in the class. In fact, this class has
helped me realize that I am a much better writer, student and manager of my time than I had ever
thought I could be.
One of the best things this class has taught me is how to better manage my time in order
to balance my social life, school, work, newspaper, sorority events, homework, family and sleep.
The first few weeks were rough. I stayed up late, procrastinated and barely had any time to just
sit and relax for a moment. I received a 14 out of 20 on my first warm-up assignment, and I was
crushed. How was it possible that I got a score of only 14? I knew that I was capable of getting
much better grades. So, I decided that things needed to change.
I began going to the writing center every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. This meant that I needed
to have my warm-ups completed by this time in order to benefit as much as possible from the
writing center sessions. Soon, I developed an Information Gathering routine that made
completing warm-ups much easier. I allowed for a break on Wednesdays, but every other day of
the week I was working on Information Gathering homework. Whether it was writing, correcting
or researching, I never let myself stop. I set goals everyday and would not allow myself to go

FEDERAL CYBERBULLYING LEGISLATION

have fun until those goals were completed. And sure enough, I began getting 19 out of 20 and 20
out of 20 on my assignments. Through this process, I learned that it actually was possible to
balance my hectic schedule, but only if I planned ahead and managed my time well. I created a
calendar of each month of the semester to help manage my time, writing down all of my
homework, essays and events to keep track of everything that I had to do.
This class has also helped me improve my writing skills immensely. I had never been a
terrible writer, and used to think that I was quite an excellent writer before entering Information
Gathering. However, my understanding of grammar, AP and APA citation styles in my writing
has greatly improved while taking Information Gathering. I also feel that my understanding of
how to use databases for research has significantly developed. Before Information Gathering, I
had never even heard of LexisNexis, Academic Search Premier or the Education Resource
Information Center. Now, I can find articles on databases in a heartbeat. I also learned that
keywords are key while researching. If the first search did not provide the right sources, then I
would use different keywords until I found what I was searching for.
I have also learned that editing an assignment is a never-ending process. In previous
semesters, I normally would finish an essay the night before it was due and maybe read through
and edit once before turning it in. Information Gathering soon taught me that I would not survive
this class if I continued my bad editing habits. Working in pairs was helpful, as I often traded
warm-ups with other students in the class whenever we had the chance. Having two or three sets
of eyes reading my assignments helped immensely, as they caught things that I seemed to not
notice after staring at the screen for hours on end. Editing other students assignments also
helped build my writing skills over the semester. I became more familiar with the AP Style

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Guide and began to quickly notice when things were misspelled, titles were wrong or dates were
written incorrectly.
Identifying credible sources also became much easier as the semester progressed. A
credible source typically included a large number of outside resources, addressed opposing
arguments, thoroughly explained all angles of the topic and was clear and concise in its writing.
Completing the strengths and weaknesses portion of warm-ups helped me sort out which traits
were necessary in order for a source to be credible. I began making lists of a sources strengths
and weaknesses, and if there were not enough strengths to ensure that the source was reliable,
then I would move onto the next. This was one my first learning moments from Information
Gathering, as I am beginning to apply this lesson to other classes I am taking at Linfield College.
My essays are beginning to improve not just in Information Gathering, but in other areas as well.
Information Gathering has also taught me that even though I am a self-identified
perfectionist and overachiever, sometimes the best thing I can do is to simply do my best and see
what happens. My lowest score was a 10 out of 20 on a warm-up because I had accidently used
the wrong type of article. As soon as I saw the score, my heart sank. However, I knew that I had
done my best. The old me would have had a complete meltdown, but instead, I took the grade as
a learning opportunity and inspiration to do even better with the remaining assignments for the
semester. From that point on, I used Ulrichsweb to check every article I found to identify
whether it was a scholarly journal, trade journal or a general periodical. I learned that it is always
better to clarify what sources are rather than finding out later that I was wrong.
As Susan Barnes Whyte once told me during one of my many stops by her office to ask a
question, I need to let go a little. This was the first time a professor had ever said such a
statement to me. Let go? What did that even mean? However, as the semester comes to a close, I

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think that I have finally figured it out. Even though I will never truly stop being the perfectionist
that I am, I need to remember to take small moments throughout the day to simply stop and
remember that nothing is as bad as it seems. I am capable of accomplishing anything I set my
mind to, and as long as I do my best, that is all that matters.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the writing center from the bottom of my heart.
Specifically, I would like to thank Megan Schwab for all of her help this semester. From the first
week of Information Gathering, Megan has helped edit every single page I wrote. We have spent
countless hours at the library editing pages, venting about classes and brainstorming new ways to
write about the same topic week after week. At this point, I feel as though Megan is as invested
in the class as I am. I would also like to thank everyone else in Information Gathering for their
support this semester. It was a long, difficult journey, but staying up late editing each others
essays and encouraging each other to keep going helped me get where I am today in regards to
Information Gathering. This class has taught me more than I ever thought I would learn, and I
am so thankful that I had the opportunity to learn and grow as much as I have.

FEDERAL CYBERBULLYING LEGISLATION

Abstract
This paper discusses the benefits of creating a federal cyberbullying law in America. A federal
cyberbullying law would benefit school officials, courtrooms and students by creating
procedures to follow when dealing with cyberbullying incidents. It also discusses the effects of
cyberbullying in schools and states current cyberbullying legislation. Current legislation does
not adequately protect students and school officials from the consequences of cyberbullying.
Also, current cyberbullying education is inconsistent throughout the U.S. A cyberbullying
federal law would mandate equal education and protection for all adolescents. The paper also
addresses arguments opposing a federal cyberbullying law. It evaluates the constitutionality of a
federal cyberbullying law in regards to the First Amendment. The paper shows that a federal
cyberbullying law would set clear legal standards for all citizens to follow and would better
protect students and school officials from the effects of cyberbullying. Ultimately, creating a
federal cyberbullying law is the best way to prevent and respond to cyberbullying.
Keywords: Cyberbullying, education, federal law, legislation

FEDERAL CYBERBULLYING LEGISLATION

Federal Cyberbullying Legislation in the U.S.


Cyberbullying in schools is commonly viewed in society as a crucial educational, health
and social issue (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). However, there is currently no federal
law that specifically targets cyberbullying in the United States. Technology is giving students
more opportunities to engage in cyberbullying behavior, thus the possibility of cyberbullying is
increasing (Bazelon, 2013). A study by i-Safe states that 52 percent of high school students have
been cyberbullied and 52 percent of students have also cyberbullied others (Riedel, 2008). This
is because social media sites provide an easily accessible platform for bullying, as students are
able to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. This makes the issue of cyberbullying more
complex. In addition, the effects of cyberbullying are more harmful than traditional bullying
(Kowalski, Limber, & Agatston, 2008). Both bullies and victims are at a greater risk for mental
and behavioral difficulties. Some of these effects include social and emotional distress, physical
injury and suicide (Centers for Disease Control, 2011).
This paper will first discuss the concept of cyberbullying, cyberbullyings effects on
adolescents and cyberbullying education in schools. It will then compare states current
cyberbullying legislation to potential federal cyberbullying legislation in order to determine
which would better prevent and address the issue. Main opposition arguments to potential federal
cyberbullying legislation will be addressed, especially focusing on perceived threats to citizens
First Amendment rights. Finally, this paper will conclude that a cyberbullying federal law is the
best way to prevent and address cyberbullying. Congress should create a federal cyberbullying
law that clearly outlines mandatory cyberbullying procedures for school officials, courtrooms
and students, and allocates resources to schools for implementation.

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Background of Cyberbullying
Concept of Cyberbullying
The increases of both technology and social media websites have made it difficult to
define cyberbullying. It is hard to decipher what falls under the right of free speech and what
should not be protected under the First Amendment. Cyberbullying can be simply explained as
the use of technology to cause fear, distress or harm and the repeated attack or intimidation
between victim and bully (Centers for Disease Control, 2011). Types of cyberbullying include
harassment, actions that cause substantial emotional distress on others; denigration, when
someone states something that is derogatory or untrue; cyberstalking, when individuals use
technology to stalk another person and impersonation; and when a bully pretends to be the victim
(Kowalski et al., 2008, p. 46). Cyberbullying is increasing among adolescents, and the line
between victim and bully can often become blurred. Both the victim and the bully frequently
engage in cyberbullying behavior because students do not understand what cyberbullying
constitutes (Cooper, 2013). A student in Mohawk, N.Y., who was bullied for his weight and in
turned bullied another student for his sexual orientation, is an ideal example of this (Bazelon,
2013, p. 71). This students history of being bullied may be one reason why he began bullying
others (Bazelon, 2013, p. 71). When students act with animosity toward other students,
especially when repeated over long periods of time, school officials can predict which students
will become bullies. Also, students who are both bullies and victims are more likely to face a
wide variety of problems, ranging from bad academics to suicide (Bazelon, 2013, p. 71). A study
conducted by directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center in 2010 found that 20 percent of
students were being cyberbullied, while 20 percent were also cyberbullying others (RobertsPittman, Slavens, & Balch, 2012).

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Cyberbullying Incidents
Cyberbullying affects both the bully and the victim. While victims may suffer emotional
distress, harassment and occasionally physical harm, bullies can face criminal charges for their
actions. For example, Flannery Mullins is one of six teenagers who received criminal charges
after being blamed for bullying a student, Phoebe Prince, to the point of suicide (Bazelon, 2013,
p. 94). Flannery posted hurtful messages on Facebook and verbally and psychologically attacked
Phoebe. Although she did not perceive her actions as cyberbullying, she was later taken to court
and faced felony charges (Bazelon, 2013, p. 112).
Other cyberbullying incidents include students engaging in sexting. It is challenging for
school officials to address sexting incidents because current cyberbullying and sexting laws are
unclear. For example, it is not illegal for students to send nude photographs to others, but it is
illegal for other students to receive nude photographs (Cooper, 2013). A student attending New
Mark Middle School in Kansas is one example of a student being cyberbullied through sexting
(Miller, 2013). A teenage girls topless photo was allegedly posted on Instagram, a social media
website, and spread among other students. However, because the incident did not occur on
school grounds, school officials were unable to take any disciplinary action (Miller, 2013).
Megan Meiers suicide is also an example of the severe results of cyberbullying. Megan
was 13 years old when she committed suicide in 2006 after being cyberbullied and harassed
online (Tucker, 2008). An adult neighbor, Lori Drew, had impersonated a young man and
cyberbullied Megan, making comments such as: the world would be a better place without you
(King, 2010). Megans suicide highlighted the dire effects of cyberbullying and helped
popularize the term cyberbullying (Tucker, 2008). In addition to Megan, Monique McClain, a
13-year-old student, was verbally, psychologically and emotionally harassed and cyberbullied to

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the point of leaving her middle school (Bazelon, 2013, p. 56). Although she did not commit
suicide, the cyberbullying Monique endured was not handled well by school officials. While
certain schools have programs and procedures for dealing with cyberbullying, Moniques school
did not. Thus, she felt that her only option to escape the torment was to start over somewhere
new (Bazelon, 2013, p. 56).
Cyberbullying Education in Schools
Aspects of cyberbullying prevention programs are helping prevent cyberbullying, but
these programs need more attention and resources from the government. Educating students
about cyberbullying may have a large effect on preventing cyberbullying among students. Thus,
more resources should be devoted toward such programs (Buccola, 2013). Certain schools, such
as Duniway Middle School in McMinnville Ore., have already begun to implement
cyberbullying and digital citizenship lessons in classrooms (Duniway Middle School, 2013).
Students at Duniway Middle School use IgnitionDigital Literacy & Responsibility, a medialearning program that teaches students about the dangers of technology (Duniway Middle
School, 2013). The purpose of the digital citizenship lesson is to define, develop and evaluate
students digital citizenship skills and to learn new concepts about digital behavior. The program
utilizes interactive games, lessons and chat rooms to get students engaged and excited to learn
about digital literacy (Duniway Middle School, 2013)
However, not all schools are able to use programs such as Ignition. Duniway Middle
School received a technology grant from the Oregon Department of Education in 2006, but
schools in other states did not (Duniway Middle School, 2013). Thus, while some children are
learning how to become digitally literate and aware of the dangers of cyberbullying, other
children around the U.S. do not have the same opportunity. Many schools are also understaffed

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and do not have enough resources to properly deal with cyberbullying issues (Cooper, 2013). For
example, at McMinnville High School in McMinnville, Ore., there is only one staff member
qualified to address cyberbullying issues (Cooper, 2013). Thus, while students may be engaging
in cyberbullying prevention programs in elementary school, they may not receive the same
support throughout middle and high school. Numerous schools have procedures in place to
address cyberbullying, but do not have the resources to properly carry out such procedures.
Many state laws that require disciplining cyberbullies also require school officials to
create educational prevention programs for students, faculty and parents (Roberts-Pittman et al.,
2012). School officials have the responsibility to care for all students, such as providing
counseling and mediation for both the victim and bully (Roberts-Pittman et al., 2012). Other
responsibilities include offering prevention programs to students and faculty that thoroughly
address cyberbullying and when school officials can intervene. Examples of prevention programs
include an anti-bullying program in Jefferson County School District R-1 in Colorado (McGraw,
2013). The program was implemented after Colorado amended a state law in order to address
cyberbullying. The law punishes cyberbullies and also requires schools to update district
bullying policies. In addition, the law created a grant program to help implement anti-bullying
programs in schools (McGraw, 2013). While this is a step in the right direction, not all states are
including cyberbullying in legislation or creating grant opportunities for anti-bullying programs.
For example, Michigan, Montana and South Dakota do not have bullying laws that include
cyberbullying (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). Thus, schools are not receiving enough
resources to properly implement cyberbullying educational programs. Montana is the only state
in the U.S. that does not have a bullying or cyberbullying law, and it does not require school

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policies to include cyberbullying (Hinduja & Patchin 2013). Thus, students in Montana are not as
well educated or protected compared to students in other states.
Police officers are also beginning to educate students more about cyberbullying in
schools (Cummins, 2013). Police officers who deal with minors have a comprehensive
understanding of cyberbullying laws and should spend more time educating students about the
dangers of cyberbullying (Thaxter, 2010). School resource officers should also begin teaching
classes about cyberbullying to prevent incidents from occurring. In states such as Oregon, school
district resource officers have already begun teaching classes about being safe both offline and
online (Cummins, 2013). For example, Doug Cummins, a police and school resource officer in
the McMinnville School District, helps schools investigate crimes while also teaching such
classes (Cummins, 2013). An additional example is Ken Thaxter, an officer in the West
Bridgewater Police Department in Massachusetts. Ken teaches students about the dangers of
social networking websites and encourages them to communicate with their parents about their
Internet interactions (Thaxter, 2010).
The Centers for Disease Control (2011) agree that defining bullying and developing
prevention programs are crucial in stopping bullying and cyberbullying. Although prevention
programs are not evaluated often enough to demonstrate the correlation between education and
prevention, there are some successful components of education prevention programs (Centers for
Disease Control, 2011). Supervising students, addressing cyberbullying in school policies,
specifying consequences, enforcing anti-bullying policies and promoting cooperation between
students and school officials are all imperative in preventing cyberbullying (Centers for Disease
Control, 2011).

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States Current Cyberbullying Laws


Current state cyberbullying legislation does not adequately protect students and school
officials from the consequences of cyberbullying. Some states that prohibit bullying do not
define bullying (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). Furthermore, some states do not have
cyberbullying legislation at all, such as Montana, Michigan and South Dakota. Because of this,
there are significant differences in the ability to address cyberbullying on a state-by-state basis
(Hinduja & Patchin, 2013). These substantial differences in coverage between states that have
cyberbullying legislation seriously affect policies on this issue (U.S. Department of Education,
2011). For example, as of 2011, only 13 states allow schools to monitor off-campus actions (U.S.
Department of Education, 2011). Also, there are only 13 states covering mental health services
for victims and only 18 states including legal remedies for cyberbullying and bullying (U.S.
Department of Education, 2011). More expansive legislation requiring counseling or intervention
assistance for victims in all states would provide better support and care for victims of
cyberbullying.
School officials may be held accountable for failing to intervene in cyberbullying if
found to have violated state statutes (Kowalski et al., 2008, p.165). Thus, it is imperative that
school officials understand when they can and cannot intervene in cyberbullying incidents.
Having a clear federal law that sets a national standard for all school officials to follow would
make it easier for school officials to understand when intervention is necessary and
constitutional. Because there is no federal cyberbullying law that clearly explains school
officials rights, school officials can be sued because they do not fully understand when they
have the authority to intervene. When school officials do not intervene in cyberbullying
incidents, victims parents are able to sue school officials on the grounds of negligence

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(Kowalski et al., 2008, p.169). Statutory liability also makes it possible for victims parents to
sue school officials under federal laws that forbid harassment against certain individuals
(Kowalski et al., 2008, p.165).
One example of a student suing a school after being cyberbullied is Jacob Lasher, who
was threatened, physically attacked and cyberbullied because of his sexual orientation (Bazelon,
p. 59). After feeling that school officials had not done enough to prevent Jacobs bullying and
cyberbullying, he sued his school on the grounds of negligence in order to better protect himself
and to change the way that school officials and students deal with bullying and cyberbullying
(Bazelon, 2013, p. 149). As a result of the lawsuit, school officials brought in experts to train
faculty on how to better prevent harassment between students (Bazelon, 2013, p. 162).
Although school officials typically understand that they have the responsibility to protect
students, it is difficult in some cases for them to determine whether they have the ability to
intervene. Incidents that occur off-campus are an example of when school officials may be
unsure of whether they should become involved. For example, in the 2008 court case Layshock
v. Hermitage School District, school officials were found to have violated the students First
Amendment right. Because there was no substantial disruption at school as a result of the
cyberbullying, the students suspension was overturned (Uhler & Smith, 2012). Regardless of
what their response is, school officials find that they are in a paradox in which either response
could result in legal repercussions. Thus, a federal law would be beneficial in protecting both
students and school officials from the consequences of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying and the First Amendment
The main controversy surrounding proposed federal cyberbullying legislation is the
potential infringement upon citizens First Amendment rights. In some states where

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cyberbullying legislation exists, first drafts have infringed upon the First Amendment. For
example, a New York cyberbullying law needed to be rewritten because it limited citizens right
to free speech (Gee, 2011). The laws broad interpretations could have potentially infringed upon
the First Amendment, as the definition included corporations as well as people. Court cases such
as Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969 set guidelines in regards to students rights in schools (Uhler &
Smith, 2012). This court case upheld students constitutional protections while at school. The
Tinker v. Des Moines case also set a foundational legal standard that schools can only limit
students First Amendment rights when their behavior leads to disruption within the school.
Other court cases such as Layshock v. Hermitage School District in 2008 and J.S ex rel. Synder
v. Blue Mountain School District in 2009, are similar yet have different verdicts (Uhler & Smith,
2012). These verdicts highlight the laws uncertainty regarding regulation of off-campus
cyberbullying, as it is difficult to predict how courts will apply the material or substantial
disruption guidelines.
Some people argue that the First Amendment protects all forms of speech, even if it is
harmful or offensive to others (Tucker, 2008). An example of offensive free speech being
protected under the First Amendment is the court case Cohen v. California. The court case states
that citizens are often subject to offensive speech, and the government is only allowed to censor
speech that invades privacy interests in an unacceptable manner (Tucker, 2008). Others also say
that censoring students behavior online violates their civil liberties (Friedman, 2012). A House
Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security hearing found
that a consequence of a cyberbullying federal law might be the prevention of political opponents
from expressing themselves online (Rittgers, 2009). However, proposed cyberbullying
legislation could be altered to avoid imperfections. For example, the legislation could use

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Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as the legal basis to justify the law (Rittgers, 2009).
Also, the First Amendment is not absolute and can be overridden in certain cases (Buccola,
2013). Legislators must ask themselves where in the Constitution they are given the right to
impose a specific law (Buccola, 2013).
Federal Cyberbullying Law
Existing federal and state legislation is not enough to properly address cyberbullying. A
federal cyberbullying law would set clear legal standards for all citizens to follow. For example,
the Interstate Communications Act criminalizes threats of injury to another person through
interstate commerce, but cyberbullying often cannot be interpreted as a threat to bodily harm
(King, 2010). Also, while cyberbullying lawsuits may fall under harassment and stalking
statutes, it is difficult for prosecutors to make the connection between laws directed toward
offline incidents and cyberbullying (King, 2010). School policies are not enough to prevent and
address cyberbullying because they only apply within the jurisdiction of the school boards, and
they cannot be applied to students outside of school (King, 2010).
A federal cyberbullying law is necessary because it would set guidelines for school
officials to follow when cyberbullying occurs (Patchin, 2010). Current cyberbullying laws are
insufficient because school authorities do not have specific procedures to follow in the incident
of cyberbullying. There have been court cases in which school authorities have both been sued
for taking action and not taking action in similar instances (Patchin, 2010). Thus, it is difficult
for school officials to react to cyberbullying because states have not yet defined clear legal lines.
Various states require school officials to educate students about cyberbullying, but they do not
provide the funding or resources for staff to carry out these actions (Patchin, 2010). Without the
proper funding, it is challenging for school authorities to implement such requirements. An

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example of a potential federal cyberbullying law is New Hampshires bullying law, which allows
school authorities to punish students off-campus behavior (Patchin, 2010).
A cyberbullying federal law would address two important questions in regards to
cyberbullying control in schools: the limits on a schools search or seizure authority of devices
and the extent to which school officials can regulate off-campus cyberbullying (Uhler & Smith,
2012). A cyberbullying federal law would set clear standards for school officials and courtrooms
to follow in cyberbullying incidents. Certain states, such as Virginia, have already begun to
address cyberbullying (Riedel, 2008). Virginia passed legislation that mandates that school
districts include Internet safety education into their curriculum and also how to address
cyberbullying (Riedel, 2008). However, not all states have addressed the issue. Thus, a
cyberbullying federal law would mandate that all school officials implement cyberbullying
prevention programs and create guidelines for courtrooms to follow. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg
School District in North Carolina made changes to their conduct code to include cyberbullying
outside of school. This demonstrates that laws and policies can be both constitutional and
beneficial in dealing with cyberbullying (Riedel, 2008).
Clear new laws need to be created to outline when school authorities can act when
dealing with cyberbullying. Legislators are divided on the issue, and therefore the outcomes of
court cases are mixed (Savage, 2012). School officials are caught between old legal rules and
new technology. School officials do not want to infringe upon students rights, but also want to
protect them at school without being sued for their decisions. Thus, a cyberbullying federal law
would set clear legal standards for all citizens to follow.

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Conclusion
Congress should create a federal cyberbullying law that clearly outlines mandatory
cyberbullying procedures for school officials, courtrooms and students and allocates resources to
schools for implementation. These procedures would be the best way to prevent and address
cyberbullying, as education is a key tool in preventing cyberbullying behavior among
adolescents. Thus, legislators must clearly define cyberbullying, set legal standards for school
officials and courtrooms to follow and provide resources for school officials to implement
prevention programs in classrooms. This guidance would give school officials the support
necessary to properly educate students about the dangers and consequences of cyberbullying.
A federal cyberbullying law would also be more effective in preventing cyberbullying
than state cyberbullying legislation. Current state legislation is inefficient in properly preventing
and addressing cyberbullying, as many states either do not have any cyberbullying legislation or
have cyberbullying legislation that is too broad and ineffective. Although opponents to a federal
cyberbullying law may say that current laws can be applied to cyberbullying, cyberbullying often
cannot be addressed under such laws. Thus, cyberbullying continues without any punishments
for bullies or support for victims.
Protecting Americas youth from cyberbullying is necessary as technology use increases
among adolescents. It is more important to protect students from the consequences of
cyberbullying rather than solely protecting their free speech. Cyberbullying laws need to be more
prescriptive to better protect school officials from lawsuits and students from cyberbullying,
which a federal cyberbullying law would successfully accomplish. Megan Meier and the
countless victims of cyberbullying were forced to take their fate into their own hands. Their
stories demand the publics attention and immediate legislative action.

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