FCC taking on cyberbullying in schools

Reuters reports that schools receiving subsidies for internet service will have to teach students about the perils of cyberbullying and the responsible use of social networking sites, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said Oct. 29. Cyberbullying “happens when teens use the internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person,” and it’s a problem for nearly half of all U.S. teens, according to the National Crime Prevention Council. It’s increasingly being cited as a predecessor to suicide attempts, the third leading cause of death among 10 to 24-year-olds in the United States. Last month, 18-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi took his life after fellow students posted video of him engaged in sexual activity online. In 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide after a classmate and friend’s mother bullied her through a fake MySpace account. The FCC said it will soon issue an order to schools receiving funds from the E-rate program, which subsidizes school Internet access, to address cyberbullying and improper use of sites like Facebook and MySpace…

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Laura Ascione

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