Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers and faculty
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Scooped by Heather Corcoran!

Students Demand Stronger Bullying Laws At The Capitol

Students Demand Stronger Bullying Laws At The Capitol | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers and faculty |

Students against bullying rallied at the Capitol Saturday, demanding tougher laws against bullying.  It's the students who are taking the stand!  It's the students who are enforcing the law!  It's the students who are trying to make thier schools a better place!  Again, it's THE STUDENTS dressed in orange! 

The idea for the rally started with a public policy class at Mounds Park Academy. Four seniors formed a group called Students Demanding Change, and they partnered with the PACER Center, a Minnesota-based anti-bully organization, to hold the rally.

“The students’ voice isn’t really heard on the issue of bullying prevention. It’s usually just legislators talking about it. We wanted to have our voice out there, because it is a student issue.”

Every day, more than 160,000 kids miss school fearing an attack or intimidation by other students, according to the PACER Center.

It takes courage to rally at the Capitol.  It takes courage to stand up and be heard.  It takes courage to go to school.  Student's shouldn't feel scared or intimidated while at school. 

As a teac'her, it's good to back your students on some causes and this cause on taking a stand on bullying would be one of the better choices you can make. 

With bullying becoming such a topic on the hot stove, it's time to cool things off. 

Vikki Howard's comment, February 23, 2012 9:08 PM
I agree it is time to act--not to ignore the concerns of these students which are legitimate, and if anything understate the problem of bullying--I love this though--students taking action to control their world
Megan's comment, May 8, 2012 10:51 PM
I love that students are taking a stand against bullying. Students are the ones effected by it so they should have a voice against it!
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Bullying law brings rule changes - Dayton Daily News

Bullying law brings rule changes - Dayton Daily News | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers and faculty |

A new state law gives school districts the authority to suspend students who send a text or post something on the Internet that is deemed to be harrassing, intimidating or bullying to another student.

 The Jessica Logan Act, H.B. 116, was signed into law in January and schools must update their antibullying policies by November to reflect the changes.  This law must bring about new language addressing so-called cyberbullying, in which harrassment or intimidation is achieved using a cellphone, home computer or other electronic device. The law gives schools the authority to discipline offending students even if the offense occurred off school grounds and did not involve school property.

This law allows the teachers, principals and other school officials to "retaliate" against the bullies.  So long saying, "It was on my personal computer, they can't touch me." 

When students and even teachers are cyberbullied at their own safe space when are they safe?  The students who are being bullied now have a place to call safe and that's at schools.  Not only does this Act only include computers, but it also includes cell phones.  Many forms of bullying is done via text messages.  If students are caught bullying via texting, the will be punished.

Apparently this is a current law and by that it's its own legal case.  This was brought to congress and an act was brought forth. 

 Huber Heights Assistant Superintendent Sue Gunnell serves to help resolve appeals in disciplinary cases in her district. She said there already have been incidents in which students were disciplined for cyberbullying both on and off school grounds.

School administrators are expected to investigate any potential incidents of bullying, as well as teach students what bullying is and about appropriate online behavior. At Huber Heights, Gunnell said if the activity is negatively impacting a student’s educational environment, discipline against the at-fault student could range from Saturday school to suspension. If the behavior persists, expulsion procedures may be pursued, she said.

“We use the advantages that technology provides, but it also means we have to be watchful and educate students about appropriate use and expectations,” Gunnell said.

The OSBA will be providing sample anti-bullying policies as early as May that local districts can use as a model.

Vikki Howard's comment, February 23, 2012 9:11 PM
It will be interesting to see if this law is upheld in the courts, which have been reluctant to back schools --this issue must be addressed, but I don't think this kind of punishment is the answer--I hate the use of the term "retribution against students" what does this really teach? Better to find ways to remediate, than retribute -- better yet to work on ways to prevent; What is your view in terms of the legality of this law with respect to previous rulings?
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Detroit mother says her autistic son was bullied by three other kids in school

Detroit mother says her autistic son was bullied by three other kids in school | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers and faculty |

LaKesha Rich says she knew something was seriously wrong with her autistic son, Terrell, when he kept crying and didn’t want to go to school.

But the 11-year-old couldn’t tell his mom what happened because the boy can barely speak. Eventually, Rich found out Terrell had been bullied at school – and no one warned her about the attacks.

“They held him capture, they attacked him from behind while he was urinating, chased him down the hall with this pants down,” said Rich.

Terrell wears a hearing aid, has seizures, and needs to be chaperoned at all times. Rich says the attacks happened when Terrell’s teacher let him go to the bathroom alone. Rich tells 7 Action News that three students – who are not special education students – were behind the bullying.

“It’s just painful to hear that your child goes through something like that. It’s painful. It took a while for me to stop crying, sometimes it brings back tears to my eyes, but don’t no parent want to hear your child go through something like that,” said Rich.

Tuesday at 6:45 am on Action News This Morning, Investigator Heather Catallo will show you what really went on inside Terrell’s school – and the shocking information this mother learned once she confronted school officials.

This topic is extremely important to teachers in so many ways.  Terrell was supposed to be chaperoned at all times.  The school should have placed an aide in the classroom to help with Terrell.  If an aide was not there, then the teacher is held with full responsibility.  This young boy may have had to go to the bathroom, but even so, the teacher could have called for some assistance to bring him the bathroom.  Because of the lack of responsibility, this teacher may be help resposnsible for this bullying.  If ther would have been an adult with Terrell, the bullying never would have happened. 

A case in December of 2011 that highlights the abuse/bullying of special needs students.  A principal named in a $1.3 million lawsuit alleging that the school system failed to protect two students against bullying took the stand Tuesday, saying that bullying "has become a buzz word" and acknowledging that two attacks on the students, including a special needs child, "may have been mentioned" to him by their parents.

The parents are suing the system for several counts of gross negligence and violations of state law, saying their complaints about constant bullying to Twiggs and Charlotte Williams, the principal of Glenmount Elementary School, in the 2009-2010 school year were ignored.

Bullying special needs students has become a hot topic.  They're being bullied because they can't stand up for themselve or as others would say, "They're stupid because they think we're playing with them."

This must be stopped.  What needs to happen before it goes too far?

Vikki Howard's comment, February 23, 2012 9:15 PM
Excellent scooped article Heather, brings up several issues--1) the seriousness of bullying; b) the finding that school officials will ignore reports of serious bullying; c) the fact that school officials can be sued for failing to attempt to mitigate bullying; d) the echoed refrain that this has got to stop! How does this case relate to our topic of defamation?
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Bay City Central students become the teachers --cyber bullying 101

Bay City Central students become the teachers --cyber bullying 101 | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers and faculty |

Social media has become a part of everybody's everyday life.  Bullies no longer just steal the lunch money or take the swing from the youngin.  No, bullies are now attacking their "prey" online.  The internet has become the "new playground".

In Bay City, there are two freshman girls are taking the stand!  They are trying to put a stop to cyber bullying.  Madison Marciniak and Kelsey Zimmerman are the two girls who are rallying together to form a club atBay City Central designed to raise awareness of cyber bullying. The club, called The Positive Post Pledge Club, asks students to take time before posting hurtful words about other students on the Internet.

"We're just trying to stop cyber bullying from going on in our schools because it's gotten worse throughout the years,” Madison said.

Madison and Kelsey are not only concerned about their school, they want to share their knowledge with parents from another school.  These parents will learn the effects cyber bullying can have on students. The girls also plan to give parents tips on ways they can stop bullying from taking place inside their homes.

“We want to inform the parents of it, because that's where it starts, at home,” Madison said. “A lot of the time, they don't think their kid is doing it, and so we just want to get everyone involved to stop it.”

The girls were both bullied.  Again, the bullying started in eighth grade for the both of them after a volleyball game they had lost.  Girls on the team blamed these two for the mistakes they had made and blamed them for the loss.  These "mean" girls would post mean things about Madison on Facebook and Twitter.  Feeling pressured, Kelsey joined in on the heckling. 

“I went along with it and started tweeting about Madison too,” Kelsey said.

Madison's mother Cathy, a teacher at Handy, said she could tell something was wrong with her daughter.

Then teammates began tweeting about Kelsey.

“I realized how bad it made me feel,” Kelsey said. “I didn't want anyone else to feel like that.”

Kelsey approached Madison's whole family to apologize and explain her actions.

“It was uncomfortable at first because it was my own daughter, but Kelsey was so adult about it,” Cathy Marciniak said. “She was so accountable and she's a good kid.”

The girls decided to turn the negative situation into something positive for students, and started the club with the help of Central teacher Jill Moore. In addition to collecting signatures of students pledging to “Think before I tweet,” and “Ponder before I post,” the girls have also passed out wrist bands and reached out to students at the middle school.

Cathy Marciniak said the message resonates with students in the middle school because they look up to high school students.

“We've talked to the kids at length about it, they don't really listen to that,” Cathy Marciniak said. “But when their peers, the kids they look up to and the kids in high school come over, they were taken aback by it and immediately wanted to be on board.”

The girls have made many plans for this club.  They want to bring positivity to their schools and homes.  They hope to make the internet a safer place.


This topic is extremely important to teachers because it goes on right in front of their noses.  Students now have smart phone with the internet on them.  They are able to facebook and tweet at the tip of their fingers.  Students are accessing Facebook and Twitter on the schools' computers. 

Sadly, the laws on cyber bullying aren't in full effect.  Each state states something different and mostly they ask the schools to implement a no bullying clause. 

A case is still pending in Texas when a lawyers daughter was the target of cyber bullying on facebook.   The video that was posted on facebook was created by the three girls and posted to the social media site. The video allegedly made statements about her sexual impropriety and threats to physically harm the girl.


Vikki Howard's comment, February 23, 2012 9:18 PM
So important to understand this topic--again, I love that students are taking this into their own hands-I hope they start a trend as harmful use of internet is ubiquitous and gradually erodes our humanity