“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.
Chapter 12: Introduction to the MATRIX
Introduction to the MATRIX
School personnel frequently face the dilemma of where their school authority ends and their students’ rights begin. The scenarios in this chapter—both from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and both dated February 4, 2010—highlight this dilemma and raise the following questions:
- What should school administrators do when offensive student expression comes onto school property and disrupts school activities?
- How much disruption is necessary before school administrators may respond?
- Must the expression cause physical or emotional harm before sanctions may be imposed?
- Can vulgar or offensive expression always be censored by school administrators?
- Can schools step in and sanction the student who created the offensive expression?
- Do students have a constitutional right to express their controversial opinions with abandon?
- Does the fact that an expression ...