• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book describes the legal precedents involved in the discipline of students who engage in this type of behavior and provides a very helpful matrix for dealing with a sensitive cyber situation. I'd recommend this text for all administrators!

Jill Gildea, Superintendent

Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL


Education Talk Radio: 3/25/2011

What every school leader needs to know about cyber bullying and the law

A parent brings a cyber bullying incident to your attention and expects you to resolve it. What are the students' rights and your responsibilities according to the law? Because the laws regarding disciplinary action are still evolving, this manual fills the gap by providing public school leaders with data-driven solutions for managing cyber bullying incidents. The authors offer clear guidance for honoring free expression while providing a safe learning environment. Helpful tools include

“Top Ten Rules” for addressing cyber bullying; Strategies for documenting aggressive cyber situations; User-friendly legal tests for differentiating netiquette violations from First Amendment–protected expressions; The MATRIX, a rubric that provides efficient and clear decision-making guidelines for determining appropriate responses to cyber bullying incidents (also available online)

Relevant case studies give examples of schools' authority to regulate, censor, or sanction inappropriate cyber expression. Mistakes can be costly, and avoiding liability is key. This book shows you how to protect yourself, your school, and your students in accordance with the law.

Four Lessons Learned from Experience
Four lessons learned from experience

School administrators often believe they need to resolve all problems of their students and staff. However, reacting to all cyber situations is not necessarily the best approach. Often the knee-jerk response or the gut reaction may be inappropriate. Instead, administrators must determine if the cyber bullying expression falls within one of the specific categories exempt from First Amendment protection. The categories exempt from First Amendment protection in a school setting include

  • certain criminal and civil conduct;
  • acceptable use policy violations;
  • expressions that substantially and materially disrupt the educational institution;
  • expressions that interfere with the rights of others;
  • expressions that are lewd, vulgar, indecent, and plainly offensive;
  • expressions that are contrary to legitimate pedagogical concerns; and
  • expressions ...
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