School districts' cyberbullying authority expanded with new law

CHICAGO - Starting January 1, school districts in Illinois will be able to punish students for cyberbullying, even if the incident happens outside of school.

Next year, a new state law will take effect that allows schools to discipline their students for any electronic bullying that disrupts the school day.  In comparison, right now school districts may take action if online bullying incidents happen throughout the school day or if students engaging in online bullying are using district-owned technology.

School districts in Illinois will also need to update their disciplinary policies to reflect changes allowed by the new law.

Tuscola High School officials also say a new online forum will be launched in January, giving parents and students in the district the chance to anonymously report any online bullying incidents.
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