Cyberbullying: Education and Opportunity Teach Students

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Cyberbullying is a growing issue in American schools. With a number of recent suicides linked to students being bullied by their peers, many debate whether or not schools should get involved and try to put a stop to the bullying before things get out of hand, or even worse, before it's too late. But what happens when it's a teacher getting bullied rather than a student? Should the situation be handled differently when it involves a grown adult? Schools teach math, not values. It's the parent's responsibility to make sure their kids know what's acceptable and unacceptable to put on the Internet, and to punish them for their actions outside of school. The only reason the school would have any excuse to punish students for something they did out of school is if it involved school property. While some might argue that a teacher is school property, teachers are employees. They don't belong to the school. One principal claimed that this can “undermine their effectiveness as a teacher.” A student starting a facebook page about a teacher doesn't affect their ability to teach, and if it does, then they really shouldn't be teaching. Giving a student the same punishment for cyberbullying a teacher as they would get for cyberbullying another student is unreasonable. The teacher isn't a high school student anymore; they should be an example to the students and use this opportunity teach students not to let cyberbullying effect them, not make a big deal out of it. The biggest issue with cyberbullying is freedom of speech. Obviously not EVERYTHING you say can be protected by freedom of speech, especially if it harms another person. However, the school can't even be sure that they meant for the teacher to see the page. School districts back their actions by saying that “the student deliberately tried to demean a staff member” or that they intended to effect their teaching. Why would the student want their already bad teacher to get worse? Maybe they were just angry at the...
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