Sydney L. Brunecz,
More Harm Than Good? Why Schools Who Take a Zero-Tolerance Stance on Cyberbullying Cause More Problems Than Solutions,
6 Case W. Res. J.L. Tech. & Internet
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/jolti/vol6/iss1/4
"Cyberbullying has become an epidemic in today’s society. Cyberbullying has escalated so much that some victims commit suicide in order to escape their tormentors. Increased media coverage of these suicides has led the public to demand legislative action. Although no federal law exists, state legislation has been enacted to prevent bullying and cyberbullying. Most states delegate this task to public schools that respond by implementing zero- tolerance policies. Zero-tolerance policies against bullying and cyberbullying can impinge on many student rights, including speech protected by the First Amendment. Well intentioned zero tolerance policies may infringe on Constitutionally protected free speech, and it is important for schools to be aware when their policies infringe on alleged bullies’ First Amendment rights. Due to the sensitive balance between student speech rights and the schools’ need to create a safe learning environment, zero-tolerance policies should be reserved for cyberbullying that constitutes a true threat. To prevent more typical instances of bullying and cyberbullying, schools should establish positive atmospheres and use punishments that focus on rehabilitating student offenders"