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It is a reality. Cyberbullying has been around since long before the Internet and is a current ongoing social issue. This situation is worse and worse overtime due to freedom of speech. Bullies take advantage because they know they are protected by the First Amendment, which is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government a redress of grievances”, but little do they know of the affects victims suffer whether its emotionally, physically or mentally. Not only are young people victims, but also adults as well. Schools should limit students’ online speech because cyberbullying is a widespread problem, it is materially disruptive to the students being attacked, and schools have a legal duty to protect civil rights of students, teachers, and administrators.

One reason that schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech is that it is a widespread problem. In a letter written to school administrators, the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights asserted that harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Since, the internet and social media are easily accessible bullies have it easier for themselves to bully others negatively. Being that cyberbullying is a widespread problem it is one reason which schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech.

Another reason that schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech is that it is materially disruptive to students being attacked. In J.S v. Blue Mountain School District, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stated, More specifically, on Tuesday, March 20, McGonigle was approached by two teachers who informed him that students were discussing the profile in class. Randy Nunemacher, a Middle School math teacher, experienced a disruption in his class when six or seven students were talking and discussing the profile; Nunemacher had to tell the students to stop talking three times, and raised his voice on the third occasion. When a topic like this pops up it disrupts the entire class from instruction and then leads the entire class to be off topic, but most of all affects the victim to be be really hurt and feel as an outsider. Cyberbullying is materially disruptive to students being attacked which is another reason that schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech.

Last reason that schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech is that schools have a legal duty to protect civil rights of students, teachers, and administrators. In a study conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center, we learn that 4374 people were surveyed and that 16.6 males and 25.1 females have being cyberbullied their lifetime, which is a lot compared to people who were cyberbullied in the previous 30 days or at least once with a public recording. It is the legal duty of schools to protect civil rights of students, teachers, and administrators which schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech to provide a safe environment.

Cyberbullying has been an ongoing issue for past generations, is for present generations, and will be for future generations because we do not live in a perfect society and world. There is always going to be negativity surrounding our daily lives. There needs to be stop. We need to help bring change within the school system. It starts with only one person.  It starts with me. It starts with you. Cyberbullying is widespread problem, materially disruptive to students’ being attacked, and schools have a legal duty to protect civil rights of students, teachers, and administrators are reasons schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Should Schools be Allowed to Limit Students’ Online Speech? by Jacquelin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

4 Comments
  1. Elena 4 months ago

    Hi Jacqueline, I can tell you are very passionate about this subject, you made some amazing points. One thing that you focused on which I didn’t agree with is that your school should be able to monitor the students phones. I think this is one solution to the problem of cyber bullying but I don’t think it is the best solution. If teachers and administration have access to students calls, texts, apps, and their email, some students will take that as an invasion of privacy. I think that there should be a better way to handle the situation. By allowing the teachers to monitor students phones there will aslo cause a distrust and a wall will be placed in-between the adults and students.

  2. Jacob 4 months ago

    This is certainly an interesting postJacquelin. I especially enjoyed the bringing in of court cases to prove your point to the constitutional ban of cyberbullying. At the same time, I think it’s important to recognize these decisions aren’t uniform. In the case of “J.C. ex rel. R.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District”, the courts decided that a youtube video
    “from the student’s home computer that denigrated a classmate in a profanity-laced rant” is protected under the 1st amendment, as it had not been violent or threatening and had not lead to a confrontation at school. They also claimed that preventatives measure couldn’t be taken beforehand because the belief that increased fear of gossip and cyberbullying were speculative. This is similar to a part of the decision in the “Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District” court case, which sets the precedent of free speech in public schools. They said the pre-emptive prohibition of the black armbands the students would’ve worn to protest the Vietnam War is speculative, as they just assumed that it would cause disruption without any evidence. It’s still a very interesting post, good job!

    https://www.justice.org/what-we-do/enhance-practice-law/publications/trial-magazine/cyberbullying-schoolhouse-courthouse

  3. Arelly Calderon 4 months ago

    Dear Jaquelin,

    I am very pleased by your post, “Should Schools be Allowed to Limit Students’ Online Speech?” because you supported your argument efficiently. You also brought in very understandable information that helped me further interpret your reasoning behind your opinion.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “When a topic like this pops up it disrupts the entire class from instruction and then leads the entire class to be off topic, but most of all affects the victim to be be really hurt and feel as an outsider.” I think this is significant because it really puts into perspective that cyberbullying is more than just a classroom disruption. Not only the class is being affected but also the individual.

    Thank you for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because it is very informative. You also are very understanding about this topic and explain very thoroughly.

    -Arelly Calderon

  4. Christian 4 months ago

    Dear Jacqueline:

    I am pleased, with your essay, “Schools Should Be Allowed To Limit Online,” because while reading you made some good points which i have to agree with. Students have been cyberbullied for years and i agree that it is a worldwide problem which has to be taken care of.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “ When a topic like this pops up it disrupts the entire class from instruction and then leads the entire class to be off topic, but most of all affects the victim to be be really hurt and feel as an outsider” I think this is important because when you think about it, a student may feel bad and especially when everyone is talking around them which could lead to problems. This will disrupt the peace of the classroom which could cause less education for other students as well.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because the topic of students having their free speech taken away really interested me and your writing was very clear to understand. I think you did a good job.
    – Christian Cisneros-Anzures.

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