Weak laws allow for cyberbullying, debate arises about free speech
Bullying has been an issue for decades, and this problem has made its way to the forefront of a number of parents’, educators’ and students’ minds. However, the internet has opened up an entirely new platform for kids to be bullied, and many parents are uneasy about the lack of legislation.
Free speech vs. cyberbullying
As a result of Facebook’s online-privacy policies and lack of state regulations against cyberbullying, a high school in Arizona is at a loss. According to Arizona Central, a Facebook page commenting on administrators’, students’ and teachers’ social status, appearance and other personal factors took two weeks to take down. Another page wasn’t removed due to Facebook rules.
The news source reports that free speech is the argument, allowing for these pages to remain up. This has teachers and students stunned across the country.
Court cases arise across the country
Parents are more than frustrated with laws and regulations in their towns, as their teens are victims of cyberbullying, but there are no charges to be filed. According to the Chicago Post-Tribune, Regina Webb and Tim Tinsley are more than irritated after they found out there was nothing they can do after their child was mentioned in a Facebook post about three students who wanted to kill them.
However, 14-year-old Alex Boston of Acworth, Georgia, is making sure the students who bullied her will be punished. According to ABC News, a few students started a Facebook page in Boston’s name and wrote cruel things about her and her friends. When she reported it to the school, they said there was little they could do.
However, Boston and her parents sought out legal help, and are now suing the two students as well as their parents for providing the internet service and computers, the media outlet reports.
Tips for parents to battle cyberbullying
Parents across the country are well aware of cyberbullying going on, but are not sure how to combat it in their own home. According to the Denver Post, parents need to be informed of what their child is posting and what other kids are posting on their child’s social media pages.
These parents should also get their own pages and accounts. If their child has Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and is posting YouTube videos, the parents should do the same. Also, installing parental control software can help parents keep on top of what their child is doing while they are not in the room or at home.