Bullying bill gives schools more power

The Ledger Online reports that a new bill in the Florida State Legislature would give unprecedented power to schools over students who engaging in bullying outside of school hours. Under the new law, schools would have to write bullying policies that give teachers the authority to punish students who use cell phones, web pages, messaging software, etc., to criticize other students, even if the messages originate from the student’s home. Bill sponsor Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff says: “Where and when the cyber bullying takes place ‘is not a defense’.” As long as the evidence is pulled up on a school computer, it is “fair game.” However, lawmaker Sen. Victor Crist feels that the bill is “overreaching” and that what a “student does in his own home should be between parent and student.” Educators and communities have struggled with the ever-growing number of cyber bullying instances, but most schools lack clear policies on how to deal with the problem.

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