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Cyberbullying: A crime in Florida

While the Internet can be a helpful resource in the classroom, it can also lead to trouble. A student who gets online and posts embarrassing photos of another or one who uses it as a place to gossip could be impacting another student with cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a crime in most states now, particularly when it becomes stalking or harassment. Cyberbullying is defined as the systematic infliction of physical or psychological distress on a person via electronic channels. If this is taking place and affecting your child or even an adult loved one working at a school, it's important to start looking into your options to stop the harassment.

Thanks to Florida Statute 1006.147, it's illegal to harass or bully any employee or student of a public school in grades K-12. If this kind of bullying does take place, then the school can take action. The school can only take action if the student or employee has a reasonable fear of harm or damage to property, if the bullying is affecting the operation of the school, or if it is interfering with a student's performance, benefits or opportunities.

Cyberbullying can have a real impact on students and teachers alike. It can make the school seem unsafe to victims, and they may face wide-reaching harassment from their peers or others. If a school does not address the concerns of parents or educators dealing with cyberbullying, there are legal options available, like filing a civil lawsuit against the district to bring attention to the events causing the students or educators problems at the school.

Source: Secure Florida, "Cyberbullying," accessed Aug. 19, 2016

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