Friday, May 3, 2013

Florida Cyberbullying Law: Won't Work unless there are penalties.

Florida is getting ready to pass a cyberbullying bill which mimics the current anti bullying law.  But here is the problem.  We all know, those of us who live in Florida of course, that there is a grave problem with schools following our current bullying law.  Kids are committing suicide or at least attempting to commit suicide.  Grades are slipping, depression is gaining.  And it is the same thing over and over again.  The teachers, principals and superintendents are doing nothing.  Bullying on the bus is rampant.  Not all parents can afford to drive their children to and from school.  Schools are in denial.  Yet we pass another law.  These laws need mandates and if the mandates are not accomplished then there needs to be penalties if the law is not followed.  Criminal laws have penalties.  If you don't pay your taxes on time, there are penalties, if you don't renew your drivers license within a certain time, there are penalties.  If you don't have a business license in the county you are setting up shop there is a fine and or penalty.  These laws will not work, unless there are penalties.  And now there is going to be an extreme avoidance to punish kids or investigate those who cyberbully.  Bullying has gotten worse since the law was enacted.  Most civil laws will be ignored unless there is a fine, penalty.

Courtesy of DAILY DOT COM
DAILY DOT COM - A bill that would give public schools in Florida more power to punish cyberbullies only needs the governor’s signature to become law. 

On Monday, HB 609 won unanimous support in the Senate.  It had already passed the Florida House in early April.  It’s now headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.
In short, the proposal changes the definition of bullying to include cyber-bullying.  It expands the authority of Florida’s public schools to discipline students for cyberbullying done through use of a computer, at the site of a school sponsored activity or on a school bus.
Democratic Representative Reggie Fullwood , and Senator Dwight Bullard sponsored the bill.  “As an educator and legislator, I’m pleased to see that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle came together to bring this bill to law, Said Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami.  “In our digital age and society teachers and administrators need the ability to protect our Florida gems from the unwanted attacks students receive online.”
Cyberbullying is the willful and repeated use of cell phones, computers and other electronics communication devices to harass and threaten others.  It’s serious business.  And in many cases, cyberbullying can be the worst kind of bullying, because once it's out there on the internet it can be pretty hard to take down.
The Cyberbullying Research Center reports 49 states have laws against bullying, but only 16 states specifically include cyberbullying.
Alabama has laws against cyberharrassment. While the two may be used interchangeably, there is a difference. According to definitions listed on National Conference of State Legislatures , cyberbullying refers to electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context. Where, cyber-harassment usually pertains to any threatening email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual.

No comments:

Post a Comment