Cyberbullying and the First Amendment.


Bullying is an offense that the school defines as behavior aimed at harming a student who lacks enough power (Fredrick et al., 2022). The first step in identifying bullying is analyzing if the action can have categorized as bullying. The second step is evaluating the impact of the action on the student’s psychology or the extent of the cyberbullying on the student. The third step is checking the environment where the cyberbullying occurred, whether on or off campus (Fredrick et al., 2022). For each environment, there is a different approach to how things are handled. The next step is analyzing the policy guidelines, which give schools the authority to punish students who use speech that goes against the rights of others.

                                        Cyberbullying and the First Amendment                         

With electronic devices and technology, cyberbullying has become popular in schools. Through social media platforms, students have invented new ways to bully other students, taunting and slandering each other (Kim et al., 2020). Cyberbullying is, in most cases, done by students willingly and is repeated to harm a student. Cyberbullying involves using electrical devices such as computers and phones because they have social media platforms. The actions of cyberbullying lead to the victim suffering psychologically as they have been tormented and ridiculed (Meter et al., 2021). The first Amendment stipulates that students should be protected to be able to express themselves freely. However, the supreme court states that students should have the right to express themselves, which should allow schools to establish disciplinary order and ensure that education happens in the school. Giving the power to schools is ideal as it ensures that teachers have control of their students to ensure that the harmful effects of cyberbullying are stopped which are hidden before the Amendment act of freedom of expression. In the ruling which was between Fraser, Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. Kuhlmeier; Morse v. Frederick, the speech of the students is limited in the school environment therefore, issues to do with bullying addressed are those which happen in the school (Kim et al., 2020). Schools give institutions permission to adopt their own measures within the school which when presented in court should not be invalidated. Therefore, it can be argued that the disciplinary team should abide to the policies outlined by the district since the school can differentiate between cyberbullying from speech that has been outlined in the first Amendment (Meter et al., 2021). 

There are elements which the school can use to identify cyber bullying, they include, they get in the way of the student education, it interferes with the school environment and creates an environment that is not conducive to the learners 

The First Amendment Argument

 In the first Amendment there is the bill of right that is provided for example to provides an individual with the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression (Meter et al., 2021). Therefore, if the first Amendment is to be used for the bullying act the freedom will have the freedom of expression and the student is within their constitutional right to use it. In a school environment the situation is different as bullying interferes with learning of the students and therefore should not be used (Kim et al., 2020). There is no interpretation for the first amendment limit which can be used by the student while on off campus therefore they use the opportunity to their advantage (Fredrick et al., 2022). The scope of authority is limited by the first amendment act while on off campus. Cyber bullying can occur at any environment at any particular time therefore states should have measures to present and stop ant cyber bullying. Additionally, in State V. Bishop there is a rule by the supreme court which prevents people from sharing information about other people with an intent to fully intimidate or torment the person and especially the minors. 


 Students should have their own policies which discipline students who are invading with the rights of other students especially the rights of expression

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