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Should cyberbullying be against the law?

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SuperDad
I was wondering what everybody else thought about cyberbullying and abuse online and wondered if you thought it should be made illegal?
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Marti
I think it would be difficult to do this with younger kids. Bullying is not against the law but harassment, physical and mental abuse, violent threats, racism etc all are. I think there needs to be more education in schools about online behaviour so young people can learn about online social boundaries.
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Suzanne
From my perspective I think that more time and resources should be spent educating people around cyberbullying and ways to interpret the negativity rather than campaigning for a change which can probably never happen because of freedom of speech.
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(user deleted)
I think the key is education too!
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laurabelle9000
I did my undergraduate research dissertation on Cyberbullying and whose responsibility it is to govern and some of the things I found were shocking to say the least. Like Marti already said "Bullying is not against the law but harassment, physical and mental abuse, violent threats, racism etc all are". I spoke to parents and staff from schools, looked at anti-bullying policies from three different schools and also previously existing research. Like many of you have already said I firmly believe the key to managing cyberbullying effectively lies within education and I was honestly shocked to find that of the three policies I looked at, not one was the same and included the same things. Not only that but the staff from other schools (not those I looked at the policies for) both had totally different understandings of how it should be managed within their schools and no idea about any form of statutory (legal) guidance that exists surrounding the issue. While working on this I was frankly appalled to find that at the time (unsure of if it has changed now) there was actually no specific statutory guidance surrounding the issue of cyberbullying itself, instead it was merely represented by one line in a far broader anti-bullying guidance document. While I know that it is never going to be the same for any two schools, I really firmly believe that there should be a guidance document outlining the issue and ways that it can be managed to help support schools and how they manage it.
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Suzanne

In reply to laurabelle9000

Very true Laura, good luck with your dissertation!
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laurabelle9000
Thanks Suzanne, I finished it and Graduated last July. Working on my Masters now.
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CybersmileTeam
Thanks for the post. It's a very complex issue so we're really excited to see how this topic grows.
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Suzanne

In reply to laurabelle9000

That's amazing Laura, good luck with the Masters : )
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SuperDad
Thanks guys, I'm still interested in this so please do continue to contribute your thoughts. Seems that most people feel education about cyberbullying is going to be more effective than punishment. Your input has been amazing so far, thank you so much.
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SamS
i like many others think education is the way forward, a universal document that can be obtained by schools across the country should be available. Then surely we are all singing from the same song sheet? As its a complex area i think students need to be more knowledgable where cyber bullying is concerned
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CybersmileHQ

In reply to SamS

I agree Sam, it's quite hard for schools to know what they should be doing without guidelines - we know teachers work very hard, having guidelines on addressing cyberbullying for everyone could take out some of the admin work that will prevent people from expanding on this education!