Essay on Cyber Bullies Beware

Essay on Cyber Bullies Beware

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Over 200 years ago, our founding fathers adopted the Bill of Rights as part of our Constitution. The First Amendment is arguably the most well known liberty we have in this country as it guarantees “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." As we fast forward 220 years, freedom of speech is still a hot button issue that is consistently protected as one of our fundamental rights. With that being said, not every word we speak or write falls under the protection of the First Amendment in large part due to technology; more specifically, the internet and the new phenomenon of cyber bullying.
Cyber bullying, or Cyber harassment as it’s often referred to, is defined in the Idaho Statutes §18-917a as:
“Any intentional gesture, or any intentional written, verbal or physical act or threat that will harm a student, damage their property, place a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to his/her property. Acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be committed in person or through the phone or computer.”
While the definition of this new age school yard bully is clear, the connection between what constitutes free speech is not. Since the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to address a student’s right to free speech in the framework of cyber bullying, the lower courts, attorneys, schools, students, and parents are forced to view relevant case law in determining how to proceed when the issue of cyber bullying and free speech arises.
With regard to a student’s right to free speech, the case precedent was s...


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Supreme Court Student Speech Cases - Cyberbullying . (n.d.). Home | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from http://www.unc.edu/courses/2010spring/law/357c/001/Cyberbully/supreme-court-student-speech-cases.html
Cyberbullying. (2009, November 1). Cyberbullying. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from www.ksys-inc.com/Cyberbullying%20outline.pdf
DeLeo, J. (2006). The Student's Guide to Understanding Constitutional Law. Clifton Park, N.Y: Thomson Delmar Learning.
Statutes. (n.d.). Idaho Legislature. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH9SECT18-917A.htm
Zetter, K. (2010, March 18). Court: Cyberbullying Threats Are Not Protected Speech | Threat Level | Wired.com. Wired.com . Retrieved December 12, 2011, from http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/cyberbullying-not-protected/

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