Schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech because cyberbullying affects kids at school and is just as bad as real bullying.

One reason students’ speech should be limited is cyberbullying. I believe cyberbullying has an effect similar to real bullying and disrupts the learning environment. A joint press release from the Association of Teachers and the Teacher Support Network shows the percentage of people affected by bullying and how badly it hurt them or their ability to work. About 62% of people bullied online had a decrease in self esteem or ability to work, some even feeling ill and stressed to the point they weren’t able to work at all.

Another reason is that it is the schools’ obligation to punish bullies in order to protect students’ rights to speech. If the schools’ fail to protect their students from online harassment, they can get in legal trouble. The schools’ need to have harsher punishments to keep students from bullying others while at the same time allowing students to have free speech. Laura W. Murphy states, “lawmakers have forgotten that bullying has been around since long before the internet” (Murphy) implying lawmakers aren’t doing enough to punish bullies and harassers.

Last reason is that the schools’ must protect students from discrimination. There are anti discrimination laws that protect people and if the schools’ fail to punish bullies they are just as guilty. Russlyn Ali of the US Department of Education wrote to school administrators stating, “a school’s anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the federal antidiscrimination laws” (Ali). This means that anti-bullying rules and policies must be in line with federal laws and be taken as serious as those laws.

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3 Comments
  1. Anna 2 years ago

    Martin, I really enjoyed reading your article. I might recommend recognizing the other side to make your argument stronger. I would like to hear more reasoning for your connection between limiting free speech and online cyber bullying. There are some obvious connections, but clarifying them could really help your argument. Do you think that filtering what people say is violating student’s first amendment rights to free speech? Where do we draw the line between regulation and control? Take a look at this court case https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/21?sort=ideology . It focuses on students’ free speech rights, and is a very well known standard for our country. Let me know what you think of it!

  2. Patricia 2 years ago

    Martin, you explained well your view on the question “Should schools limit speech.” But, to explain yourself further, can you first start out what school’s limiting speech would mean. I have an idea as to what that means, but to have a clearer view of what you are trying to say, explain the background information to that question. What does limiting speech? I like how you go into your reasons as to why school’s should limit speech, but to have a better understanding of what you are trying to say, elaborate on how limiting speech would solve the reason you presented. For example, you said that because there is cyber -bullying, school’s should limit speech, but you don’t explain how that would solve cyberbullying. You state your reason, but don’t provide enough information to support that reason. Interesting topic, Martin!

  3. Olivia 2 years ago

    Hi Martin! You are so right, cyber bullying is a big issue. However, I would like to hear why you think limiting school speech will eliminate cyber bulling? Does that mean schools can only limit online speech? If so, is that a violation of the First Amendment? This a really good start, but I think you need to expand on why schools limiting speech would be beneficial and not invasive. Here is a website to start you off, use this to develop your ideas to back up your thesis that “schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech because cyberbullying affects kids at school.” Good work! https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/research/education-law/when-can-schools-limit-students-free-speech-rights.html

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