Schools combat cyber bullying outside the classroom

Posted:
MONTICELLO—In today's digital age, bullying isn't limited to the confines of a classroom. A war of words between students can easily happen at home, thanks to technology that keeps us constantly connected.

Until last year, Illinois school districts couldn't do anything about students being cyber-bullied if it happened outside of the classroom. But a law that was put into effect back in January granted districts the right to investigate harassment that happens electronically, online or on the phone, regardless of where it takes place.

So even if a student is bullying another from his home computer or cell, school officials can look into it and decide whether to take disciplinary action.

Now, districts across the state are in the process of adapting their policies to include guidelines for how to respond to cyber-bullying situations.

In Monticello, students can submit anonymous tips, while administrators can work with social media sites to figure out whether they need to step in.

“We can also work with Twitter, Facebook, those companies have always been very good about sharing information when they can, if there is some kind of serious threat or attack to the school, faculty or staff member, or individual student in the school,” said Monticello CUSD #25 Superintendent, Vic Zimmerman.

The rationale behind this law is to reduce any potential disruptions or complications inside the classroom regardless of where they stem from.

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