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Responding to Cyber Bullying

Responding to Cyber Bullying
An Action Tool for School Leaders

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August 2012 | 216 pages | Corwin

"This book describes the legal precedents involved in the discipline of students who engage in this type of behavior and provides a very helpful matrix for dealing with a sensitive cyber situation. I'd recommend this text for all administrators!"
—Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL

Education Talk Radio: 3/25/2011

What every school leader needs to know about cyber bullying and the law

A parent brings a cyber bullying incident to your attention and expects you to resolve it. What are the students' rights and your responsibilities according to the law? Because the laws regarding disciplinary action are still evolving, this manual fills the gap by providing public school leaders with data-driven solutions for managing cyber bullying incidents. The authors offer clear guidance for honoring free expression while providing a safe learning environment. Helpful tools include

  • "Top Ten Rules" for addressing cyber bullying
  • Strategies for documenting aggressive cyber situations
  • User-friendly legal tests for differentiating netiquette violations from First Amendment–protected expressions
  • The MATRIX, a rubric that provides efficient and clear decision-making guidelines for determining appropriate responses to cyber bullying incidents (also available online)

Relevant case studies give examples of schools' authority to regulate, censor, or sanction inappropriate cyber expression. Mistakes can be costly, and avoiding liability is key. This book shows you how to protect yourself, your school, and your students in accordance with the law.


About the Authors
Introduction: The Digital Generation Expresses Itself
Part I. Resolving School Cyber Situations
1. Untangling the Confusion Involving Public School Censorship
2. Supreme Court Speaks on Student Expression
3. The Local Take on Student Expression
4. Inappropriate Student Expressions Controlled by Fraser
5. Antipedagogical Student Expressions Controlled by Hazelwood
6. Disruptive Student Expressions Controlled by Tinker
7. School Authority Beyond the Schoolhouse Gate
8. A School's Duty to Protect
9. Proactive Approaches to Cyber Bullying
Part II. Lessons Learned and Rules to Live By
10. Four Lessons Learned From Experience
11. Top Ten Rules That Govern School Authority Over Student Cyber Expressions
Part III. The MATRIX: An Administrator's Decision-Making Tool
12. Introduction to the MATRIX
13. Working the MATRIX


Supplemental Website
This companion website houses the book's Matrix in an editable format to better meet your needs.
Author Blog
This site is dedicated to providing public school leaders and other front-line school personnel with data-driven solutions for resolving cyber bullying incidents. Also contains information about the authors' workshop.

"This concise, yet thorough guide offers practical and legally sound strategies to effectively confront, document, and successfully resolve allegations of cyber bullying. Given the dire consequences of inaction or ignorance, this book is required reading."

David Freitas, Professor
Indiana University, South Bend, IN

"This book takes a current topic of concern, describes the legal precedents involved in the discipline of students who engage in this type of behavior, and then wraps up the text with a very helpful Matrix Tool to allow for consistency of response when dealing with a sensitive cyber situation. I’d recommend this text for all administrators!"

Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL

"A quality administrative outlook on an important topic. This resource is a healthy blend of the theoretical and practical. It is a useful resource for school administrators or a committee of teachers exploring the topic in order to establish their own policies."

Library Media Connection, August/September 2011

"This is an extremely timely reference book that provides educators with the background and the tools necessary to deal with Cyber bullying in an objective, yet proactive way. This book helps to establish a balance between rights and responsibilities for all."

Barb Keating, Principal
Lord Kelvin Community School, New Westminster, BC, Canada

"This resource is a healthy blend of the theoretical and practical and a useful resource for school administrators, teacher committees exploring the topic to establish their own policies, or even graduate students investigating the topic. Highly recommended."

Jessica Hudson, Librarian
Southern Crescent Technical College, Thomaston, GA
Key features
1. Comprehensive and easily applied legal tests that differentiate netiquette violations from First Amendment protected expressions.

2. Strategies for school leaders to address and document aggressive cyber situations.

3. A Cyber Bullying School Sanctioning Worksheet that provides practical C-Y-A guidelines for school decision makers. These guidelines support transparent accountability, identify specific and objective factors, and document a school's decision to sanction cyber bullying incidents.

4. Real-world cyber bullying scenarios from court cases that address the authority of schools to regulate, censor, or sanction inappropriate cyber expression by students both on and off campus.

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ISBN: 9781452269511

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.