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Chicago Schools Make Cyberbullying A Crime

Chicago Schools Make Cyberbullying A Crime

Chicago Public Schools are cracking down on cyberbullies. Students sending a threatening text message, leaving abusive posts on Facebook, or digitally altering a classmate’s photo, could find themselves kicked out of school, or even facing criminal charges.

Cyberbullying is now a crime

That’s right: the new Student Code of Conduct treats cyberbullying offences with the same severity as burglary, aggravated assault, gang activity, drug use or more traditional forms of bullying. New rules enacted by the School Board on July 28 mean that students who use computers to “stalk, harass, bully, or otherwise intimidate others” will be suspended for 5 to 10 days and could be referred for expulsion. The details will also automatically be referred to Chicago Police, who can hit the students with criminal charges.

Death by cyberbullying

Kudos to the Chicago Public Schools for taking a strong stand on this horrific practice. As Care2 contributor Ximena Ramirez discussed, our nation was shocked in January by the death of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, a recent arrival from Ireland, who took her own life after incessant bullying and cyberbullying from fellow students.

Around 40% of children are victims of bulllying

Phoebe is in fact one of many young people whose lives have been cut short by cyberbullying. Studies estimate that four of every 10 children are the victims of some kind of bullying. Until now, schools have been reluctant to take action since they are not legally responsible for the actions of their students away from school. Hopefully, the steps that the Chicago Public School are now taking will serve as an example to other school districts. For it’s clear that the results of those actions away from school, if they include digitally placing classmates’ heads onto other people’s bodies, emailing X-rated images, or leaving abusive messages on Facebook profiles, can have a huge impact on the behavior and well-being of students when they are at school.

Where are the parents?

These new rules regulate student behavior off campus and outside school hours as well as during the school day. So we have to ask – where are the parents? Why are they not monitoring what their kids are up to? Parents, pay attention to what your children are doing!

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88 comments

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5:01AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

thank you

9:04AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

I and a bunch of others made fun of a club of zoosexals(they want to be seen as an orientation, not sickness) lovers and people who like writing stories about 9 year olds being in sexual relationships with adults.
and want to not only legalize, but celebrate and encourage incest

is that wrong?

or harrash people who "want to hunt the hunters"
for every wolf shot, for every pup gassed. 40 humans should be murdered.

sorry. but that kind of person has to be ground up into blubbering mush

3:42AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Bravo Chicago!

4:48PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

Bullying is bullying no matter where you are.
Kids text any where they are.
The schools do need to track their own problems of bullies in school also.
I was bullied at school, and all tho I haven't that issue anymore, there are residuals from that time I have to go pass occasionally.
To do the 'kids will be kids' thing doesn't help teach respect for others. If you have been watching people around life, you can see there needs to be more consideration for others. And there are growing trends toward that happening.
This new law could help get there.

9:00PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

I was bullied all throughout my childhood, yet I turned out ok.I am not saying bullying is alright, because it isnt. I think this is just another part of the "hate crime" agenda in order to control what people say and/or do. As for the bullyinig, the parents should be responsible for allowing their children to act the way they do. You people have your priorities in the wrong order, but then again, you are fulfilling BIBLICAL PROPHECY. Just look at the way todays society are allowing their children to act and do whatever they want, for the most part, they are just downright EVIL!! I work in the healthcare field and I find that I am one of the most compassionate, caring, considerate, and respectful individuals. Of course, being a True Christian definitely helps. As long as we are living in this sinful world, we will have hate. But a lot of you people or confusing righteous indignation for hatred.

11:13PM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

Well that is nice but how about stopping classroom/school/playground bullying?

7:05PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

This should be a non-issue. Unless the cyberbullying is taking place during school on school equipment or via text messages--again, during school--there is absolutely no reason for the school system to get involved, legal or otherwise.

The question to ask here is just WHY so many people are willing to hand over the raising and protection of their children to school systems rather than assume any sort responsibility themselves. This is a matter that the parents of the bullied should be working out with the parents of the bullies, taking it to law enforcement if that is not enough.

Passing this off on the schools is just one more method by which failing parents can wash their hands of the situation, hide behind others and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to what is going on in the lives of their children rather than face or hand out consequences.

What needs to happen is that parents start taking a hand and realizing that in a sue-crazy world there may actually be justifiable legal recourse through bringing slander/libel suits against the parents of these bullies.

If the bullying is happening outside school, the school administration has no business getting involved. It's time for more parents to step up to the plate, pay attention to what's going on and BE PARENTS.

2:11PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

GOOD! I'm so glad that people are doing something about this serious problem! I just hope and pray that more and more schools do this and that it helps as many students a possible!

10:25PM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

I have had my fair share of cyberbullying and I am glad that at least some people are recognizing the severe effect it has on teens (certainly Spring Branch Middle School isn't doing anything)...

9:02PM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

Good for Chicago! Maybe other cities will follow.

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