Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Professional Reading #2

Kim, V. (2009, December 13). For Students, a Right to be Mean Online? Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/13/local/la-me-youtube-schools13-2009dec13

Cyberbullying is such a hard topic to digest. The article gives a few cases of cyberbullying and schools that have jumped in to act against the aggressor through suspensions and other disciplinary actions. What has resulted from these disciplinary actions are lawsuits where the aggressor comes out on top. According to the judges in these court cases, by punishing the bully the school has violated their First Amendment rights.

It has been determined that unless the cyberbullying act has caused a "substantial disruption" to the school, the school has no right to punish the bully. In addition, the courts state that simply because students are able to broadcast cruelties over the Internet does not mean that they shouldn't be able to say these things. They are protected under their right to free speech. It is also mentioned that this is nothing new, students have been harassing one another forever, but it has become more of an issue because they can spread these cruelties to a larger audience.

This is so tough to read about. On the one hand I agree that once we start punishing students for the things they write or say, where do we stop. There is no line drawn for what is or isn't considered free speech, there can't possibly be. But, it is horrible to think that the victim has no rights against these attacks. This is new territory, I am sure as more and more of these cases occur, including those so terrible as where suicide results from them, we will hopefully develop a better system for handling these situations.

No comments:

Post a Comment