• 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.

Disruptive Student Expressions Controlled by Tinker
Disruptive student expressions controlled by Tinker

All speech that falls outside of the Fraser and Hazelwood parameters is controlled by Tinker. Tinker permits restriction of student speech under two theories: (1) when the expression materially and substantially interferes with the school environment, or (2) when the expression impinges upon the rights of other students. Each of these theories demands that schools provide significant justification for limiting free debate. Undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance would not suffice. Nor would the offensiveness of the student speech justify suppression.1 If a school administrator seeks to significantly burden free student expression under either test, the administrator must provide substantial justification.

Tinker's Substantial Disruption Test

Two significant issues need to be resolved in order to effectively ...

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