Anti-Bullying Policy Takes a Village

Does social media bullying raise to the level of “substantial disruption;” in Tinker v. Des Moines, should parents be held responsible; if so how? [6][1][7]

Secret Weapon: Recruiting Parents to Stop Bullying

despite the father “not condon[ing] cyberbullying…he describes [his daughter’s video as merely] “‘relentlessly juvenile.”’ [1]

In short denying that this case, where 90 views of the defamatory video was evidence of cyberbullying. [5]

Except taken from the New York Times article [1]

If not us who,

if not now, when?

J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District (2010)

“It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Holding: The Court determined that despite’s JC’s mean comments, she has a First Amendment right. The Court ordered the District to pay over $107,000 in legal fees, but the School Administration was offered Qualified Immunity. [5]

“The video shows Plaintiff’s friends talking about a classmate of theirs, C.C….One of Plaintiff’s friends,

“R.S., calls C.C. a ‘slut,’ says that C.C. is ‘spoiled,’ talks about “boners,” and uses profanity during the recording…

R.S. also says that C.C. is ‘the ugliest piece of shit I’ve ever seen in my whole life…’

During the video, J.C. is heard encouraging R.S. to continue to talk about C.C., telling her to “continue with the Carina rant…“ [5]

“In the evening on the same day, [JC] posted the video on the website ‘YouTube’ from her home computer…a publicly-available website where persons can post video clips for viewing by the general public. While at home that evening, Plaintiff contacted 5 to 10 students from the School and told them to look at the video on YouTube. She also contacted C.C. and informed her of the video.” [JC] estimates that about 15 people saw the video the night it was posted. The video itself received 90 “hits” on the evening of May 27, 2008, many from [JC] herself…”

On May 28, 2008, at the start of the school day, JC overheard 10 students discussing the video on campus. …C.C. was very upset about the video and came to the School with her mother on the morning of May 28, 2008 so they could make the School aware of the video. C.C. spoke with school counselor Hart about the video. She was crying and told Hart that she did not want to go to class…

C.C. said she faced ‘humiliation’ and had ‘hurt feelings…’ Hart spent roughly 20–25 minutes counseling C.C. and convincing her to go to class.

C.C. did return to class, and the record indicates that she likely missed only part of a single class that morning…”

“School administrators then investigated the making of the video. Lue-Sang viewed the video while on the school campus…She called Plaintiff to the administrative office to write a statement about the video. Lue-Sang and Hart also demanded that Plaintiff delete the video from YouTube, and from her home computer….School administrators questioned the other students in the video, including R.S., V.G., and A.B., and asked each of them to make a written statement about the video…R.S.’s father came to the School and watched the video with R.S. on campus…He then took R.S. home for the rest of the day….” JC (2010)[5]

“Lue-Sang and Hart also contacted principal Warren regarding the video. Warren then contacted Amy Lambert, the Director of Pupil Personnel for the District, regarding whether the School could take disciplinary action against [JC] for posting the video on the Internet. Lambert discussed the situation with attorneys and advised Warren that Plaintiff could be suspended.”

“[JC] was suspended from school for two days. No disciplinary action was taken against the other students in the video.”

“[JC] had a prior history of videotaping teachers at the School. In April 2008, Plaintiff was suspended for secretly videotaping her teachers, and was told not to make further videotapes on campus. During the investigation about the YouTube video on May 28, 2008, school administrators also discovered another video posted by Plaintiff on YouTube of two friends talking on campus. It is unclear when this video was recorded or posted on the Internet, but it clearly was made while J.C. was at School.These videos are not of the same variety of the YouTube video that is the subject of this lawsuit.”

“…instill ‘fundamental values of `habits and manners of civility’ essential to a democratic society’ and to teach students ‘the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior’…Thus, while Matthew Fraser could have given his salacious speech outside of the school and could not have been ‘penalized simply because government officials considered his language inappropriate,’the same is not true of speech occurring within the school. Id. at 688 (Blackmun, J. concurring);” [5]

“In Morse, a student attending the Olympic Torch Relay that passed on the street in front of his high school unfurled a 14-foot banner that read ‘BONG HiTS 4 JESUS.’ The school principal asked that the student take the banner down, and he refused. The principal confiscated the banner and suspended the student. Id.”

Students at the School cannot access YouTube or other social networking websites on the School’s computers, as those websites are blocked by means of a filter…Certain cell phones can access the Internet, including the YouTube website, and allow the user to view videos…the School is not aware of how many students have cell phones with that capability….Students at the School are prohibited from using their cell phones on campus in any manner…There is no evidence that any student viewed the YouTube video on his or her cell phone while at School. The only instances the video was viewed on campus, to the parties’ knowledge, were during the school administrator’s investigation of the video.[5]

Policy Implications: Proactive Education RE: JC

“Mr. Cohen hopes his daughter learns…about the limits on governmental intrusion…But Mr. Cohen keeps it posted, he said ‘as a public service,’ so viewers can see ‘what kids get suspended for in Beverly Hills.’”



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