- In 2007, the Arkansas legislation passed a law allowing school officials to take action against cyber bullies even if the bullying did not originate or take place on school property.
This one makes no sense to me. What does the school administration have to do with electronic transmissions that occur off the premises?
- We’re about to entrust the War on Bullying to school administrators. Think about how well they’ve handled the War on Drugs:
This reinforces the point. We’ve had some of that ‘aspirin-ibuprofen’ type silliness in Bossier Parish in recent years.
- The existence of the disease is doubtful, and the cure is far, far worse.
I have to say that I am pretty far removed from my teen years and realize that it is a different world out there now. I have no idea how far the cyber influence goes, as when I was in school there was no ‘cyber’.
I do realize that internet talk can lead to real situations. This past weekend, according to a source, saw a convergence of Haughton and Airline ‘tough guys’ on Princeton Road, apparently for a gang fight. This was apparently was fired by their interaction on some ‘social networking’ sites. When a couple of guns were fired it got serious. Police were called, but I don’t know if the kids all left the scene before they got there.
In this case, it sounds like everyone involved was ‘bullying’.
In an attempt to see how, if at all, this is being addressed locally, I checked the Attorney General’s website (nothing) and the Caddo DA’s website (nothing).
The Bossier Parish DA, while emphasizing sexual predators, also covered Cyberspace in general.
- Place the computer in a central area of the house such as the family room, den or kitchen.
- Establish specific times when access to the Internet is permitted and keep that schedule.
- If your child uses a computer at school, call and see if his or her school has adopted an “acceptable use policy” for the Internet. Use this policy as a tool to establish guidelines at home.
- Limit the length of access time. This will encourage your child to go directly to the information required, rather than aimlessly wander or surf the Internet.
- Explain to your children that many sites on the Internet are not appropriate for children or young adults, and they are expected to stay away from them.
- Make it clear to your child you are aware that there is pornographic material on the Internet, and that looking at such material is forbidden.
- Explain that if the sites’ address has adult language in it, the site is not to be visited.
- If the child has access to a credit card, instruct the child never to give it out over the Internet.
- Instruct your child to talk to you if he or she ever finds anything on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Encourage communication with your children. Ask about their Internet experiences and what they have learned.
- Secretive behavior on the computer.
- You feel unwelcome at an on-line session.
- Unexplained loss of capacity on the computer’s hard-drive. (It may be crowded with pornographic image files, which are typically very large).
- A sudden new friend you don’t know.
- Excessive time on the Internet.
- Hidden floppy or Zip disks which may be used for storage of inappropriate or illegal files.
I personally don't know when 'Cyber-bullying' becomes a genuine threat, or what legal remedies are available under existing laws. I think defining the difference is important; a little name calling is one thing, but a credible physical threat is something else. Are there laws in place to deal with this or do we indeed need to consider more?
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