Bullying & Cyberbullying
K Karen Haase H Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 firstname.lastname@example.org H & S School Law
Bullying? â€œany any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse . . . .â€?
Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying, v: the use of technology such as computers and cell phones to engage in i repeated, t d and dh hostile til b behavior h i byy an individual or group, g p that is intended to harm others.
How Common is Cyberbullying? ďƒ˜ one in four students between the g of 11 and 19 have been the ages victim of cyberbullying. ďƒ˜ Approximately A i t l 65 percentt off kids kid know of someone who has been cyberbullied.
How Common is Cyberbullying? ďƒ˜ Cyberbullying has increased dramatically in recent years. ďƒ˜ In nationally representative surveys of 10-17 year-olds, twice as many children and youth indicated they had been victims and perpetrators of online li harassment h t in i 2005 th than in1999/2000
Sexting? Sexting, v: (a combination of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually ll explicit li it messages or photos electronically, p y p primarily y between cell phones.
Sextortion? Sextortion, n: the act of blackmailing individuals with sexting ti images i or message
So whatâ€™s what s the big deal?
School-Related Consequences Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-2,137 Definition: “ongoing ongoing pattern of physical, verbal or electronic abuse” Consequences: ─ Loss of extracurricular privileges ─ Detentions D t ti ─Short and Long Term Suspension ─Expulsion E li ─Alternative School Assignment
Examples p Seattle, WA.: Students who “liked” Facebook page bullying a classmate p all suspended Memphis TN: Honors student suspended for 180 days for commenting on a friend’s status
Civil Consequences Student and parents can be sued • Suing for money; no jail time • Homeowners insurance often pays • Judgments can result in home f foreclosure l and d other h h hardship d hi Suit can be for: • Intentional I i l infliction i fli i off emotional i l distress • Tortuous interference • Slander
Finkel v. Facebook (N.Y.) High school students created private Facebook page about classmate • Called her a “slut” slut • Said she had AIDs • Said S id she h used dd drugs
She sued Facebook and kids who created page Facebook F b k di dismissed i d ffrom llawsuit; it students initially left in the case
Fulmer v. Swidler (Pa. 2003) Middle school student created Teacher Sux” website Sux • • •
Compared math teacher to Hitler Had picture of her decapitated Asked for contributions toward hit man
Teacher sued Jury awarded $500,000 Similar suit by principal settled
D.C. v. R.S. (Cal. 2010) High school student posted on victim’s website • • •
I want to rip out your f-ing f ing heart and feed it to you. I' wanted I've t d to t kill you. If I ever see yyou I'm ggoing g to pound p your head in with an ice pick.
Family sued; defendant said just a joke Litigation allowed to continue
Criminal Consequences (State Law) Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311.01 Terroristic Threats: “threatens to commit any crime of violence … • With the intent to terrorize another • In reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror Class IV Felony punishable by: • Up to 5 years in prison and/or • $10,000 fine
In re Minor Child (Ala.) High school students arrested at school for threatening classmate on y p MySpace • Threatened to beat him up • Said they would plant a bomb in his locker • Said he deserved to die
Charged with making terroristic threats
State v. Murphy (NE) Girl’s family disliked defendant On O MySpace M S he h wrote: t • He was ggoingg to "beat the hell out of a lot of people" • He would be "killing killing a lot of people people.“ • Told girlfriend’s sister he didn’t “want to end d up killi killing her h or her h kid.” kid ”
Charged with making terroristic threats
Criminal Implications of Sexting ď€ż Law enforcement reports that Adults prosecuted for possession of child pornography, solicitation and child i abuse ď€ż Students Prosecuted as well
Florida v. Alpert Girlfriend sent pics He forwarded pic to all contacts Convicted of distribution of child pornography On O sex offender ff d registry until he’s 43
Criminal Consequences (Federal Law) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030) Originally passed to criminalize cyberterrorism Has been used to punish cyberbullies Punishable by: • Up to 20 years in prison and/or • $100,000 $100 000 fine
Some Questions to Ask Yourself About what Youâ€™re Posting
Questions? (402) 499-0547 499 0547