CyberCitizenship, CyberSafety and CyberBullying

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Transcript CyberCitizenship, CyberSafety and CyberBullying

CyberSafety &
Information, Resources & Curriculum
Tragic cases…
 Phoebe Prince, 15 committed suicide after being repeatedly
cyber-bullied by fellow students via texts, Facebook messages,
and in person at the school. Even after her death, the perpetrators
left disparaging messages on a Facebook page created in her
 Megan Meier committed suicide three weeks before her 14th
birthday. She was cyber-bullied through MySpace by the mother
of a friend who pretended to be a boy interested in her.
 Tyler Clementi, a gay 18 year old at Rutgers University jumped off
a bridge to his death after his roommate hid a webcam and
uploaded a video of him and another male student.
 Cyber-bullying is any online posting or electronic communication
(including pictures) sent by instant messenger, e-mail, texting,
website, social networking site (Facebook, MySpace) interactive
game, cell phone or other interactive device that is intended to
scare, embarrass, harass, target or threaten another person.
 A one-time comment or insult is usually not considered cyber-
bullying. It becomes cyber-bullying when there are repeated rude
or vulgar comments, public postings or threats of bodily harm.
 Other examples: text wars, starting or promoting rumors,
impersonating another person by creating a fake profile or using
someone else’s password to create posts or send inappropriate
Table Discussion
 What do you think is the school’s role?
 What authority do you believe school personnel have to discipline
students for cyber-bullying?
 What responsibility and liability do you think the school has?
 What about students’ First Amendment Right to Freedom of
Learning Targets
Participants will be able to:
 Discuss the importance of educating school staff, students and
parents about Cyber-bullying
 Understand the impact of recent California and federal laws
 Discuss key legal issues such as the First Amendment Right to
Freedom of Speech and the limitations that can be implemented in
an educational setting
 Identify the legal precedents and “tests” set by several landmark
 Identify appropriate procedures in the event cyber-bullying occurs
 Locate the CyberSafety, Cyber Citizenship curriculum and
resources on the OUSD website
Importance of Educating
Students on CyberBullying
 Keeping our children safe in a digital world
 Creating the conditions that will teach
them to protect themselves
 Maintain funding for the technology to
provide 21st Century skills
Some Statistics:
43% of teens aged 13 to 17 report
that they have experienced some
type of cyber-bullying
81% of youth agree that bullying
online is easier to get away with
than bullying in person
Federal Law
Senate Bill 1492, which became Public Law No: 110-385.
 Title I of this law is the Broadband Data Improvement Act.
 Title II is the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.
 The new legislation adds requirements that schools, as
part of their internet safety policies, educate minors about
appropriate online behavior, including interacting with
other individuals on social networking websites and in
chat rooms, and cyber-bullying awareness and response.
New California Laws
Assembly Bill 86 – Amended Section 48900 of the
California Education Code (January, 2009)
 The new law will give schools authority to suspend or expel students
for bullying fellow students over the Internet, in text-messaging or
by other electronic means. Assembly Bill 86 adds cyber-bullying to
school disciplinary codes that previously defined bullying only in
terms of direct physical or verbal harassment.
California Senate Bill 1411, Penal Code section 528.5
(January, 2011)
• Impersonating another person by use of the internet, email, online
forums or social media to harass, embarrass, slander, threaten or harm
someone. The penalties can be a fine up to $1000 and/or a year in jail.
What about Freedom of Speech?
In Tinker a landmark case, the Supreme Court stated
“it can hardly be argued that either
students or teachers shed their
constitutional rights to freedom of speech
or expression at the schoolhouse gate”
What about Freedom of Speech?
The Supreme Court sought a middle ground to
balance the rights of students against the needs
of educators to preserve order and discipline.
Courts have determined that students’ First
Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech is
subject to limitations due to the special
characteristics of the school environment.
What about Freedom of Speech?
Two Supreme Court cases, Tinker v. Des Moines
School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 513 (1969); and Bethel
School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986), set the
precedent that:
Schools can prohibit speech if the speech “materially
disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or
invasion of the rights of others.”
This is often referred to as the “Tinker Test.”
In a Maryland case, Tommy Kuka v. Montgomery
County Board of Education, MSBE Op. No. 00-51
(2000), Tommy Kuka created a website and invited
fellow students to participate in a series of polls rating
female classmates on sexual traits and attributes.
Although Kuka claimed that the content of the website
was protected by the First Amendment Right to
Freedom of Speech, the Maryland State Board used
the precedent set by Tinker and Bethel and determined
that his speech created a substantial disruption and
violated the rights of others.
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority
Appropriate disciplinary measures should be taken for
violations of the OUSD Acceptable Use of Technology
Policy, the Discipline Code and the Student-Parent
Handbook or the Employee Handbook
The Discipline Code details levels of infractions and
progressive discipline consequences.
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority
Assembly Bill 86 amended California Ed Code 48900:
Grounds for suspension or expulsion were amended to
include bullying by electronic means:
• While on school grounds
• While going to or coming from school
• During the school lunch period whether on or off
• During or while going to/coming from a school
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority
What about students’ online activity
that originates off campus?
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority
Although the current wording of California Education
Code identifies activity that takes place either on the
school campus or in going to and from the school or
school activity,…
There have been numerous conflicting legal cases
regarding whether or not the school’s authority to regulate
student behavior or discipline students can be extended
to activities committed off-campus.
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority
Cases, Legal Precedents, & “Tests”
Courts have used the legal precedent and “test” set by
Schlamp v Howard County Board of Education (1995). The
principles are:
• Whether the conduct had a direct effect on the order and
general welfare of the school, and
• Whether the regulation of the conduct (discipline) is
reasonable in scope.
Schools’ Responsibility & Authority Cases
In the Kuka case discussed earlier, the State Board found that his
actions had a direct effect on the school, caused other students
harm, and interfered with their learning.
In a New York case, Wisniewski v. Board of Ed. Weedsport SD, the
judgment was in favor of school officials who suspended a student for
creating an instant messaging icon depicting the shooting of his
A student unsuccessfully challenged his expulsion for creating a
website on his own computer while at home, that contained
offensive comments about his Algebra teacher and requested
donations to pay for a hit man to kill her. (J.S. v Bethlehem Area
School Dist., 2002)
Other Cases have resulted in
conflicting rulings
In two very similar cases, J.S. and Layshock, in which
students created fake MySpace impersonating their
principals and made inappropriate and vulgar comments
and false accusations, there were conflicting rulings in the
lower courts. Both verdicts were vacated.
Upon appeal the U.S. Court of Appeals found that the
conduct did not create a substantial and material disruption
inside the school, and that the schools could not punish the
students for their out-of-school speech.
These two cases may be headed to the Supreme Court.
In the event you learn of possible
cyber-bullying at your school• Don’t ignore it
• Talk to the students involved
• Implement Restorative Justice if the
circumstances warrant it
• Implement Progressive Discipline as necessary
according to the Discipline Code
• Follow Due Process procedures
An ounce of prevention…
is worth a pound of cure.
Preventing Cyber-bullying Through
Implement CyberSafety, CyberEthics & CyberCitizenship
It’s the right thing to do and it is the law
Making it easy
 Curriculum is on the OUSD website
 Several choices
 Weeklong Scripted OUSD CyberSmart Lessons
 Commonsense Media
 Additional resources:
 Net Cetera,
Cyber Strong Flash Messages
CyberStrong Flash Movie Link
Contact Instructional Technology
 Ann Kruze
(510) 879-8540
 Karen Muska (510) 879-8581
 Leah Jensen (510) 879-1177