Cyberbullying: Comparing Bullying Laws in Minnesota and New Jersey

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Cyberbullying has become a new and growing problem within today’s society (Hanel, Trolley 33). On May 9th, 2007, the Minnesota State Legislature first amended the original bullying law from 2005 in attempt to strengthening it (Minnesota State Legislature, “Approved 2005”, “Amended 2007”). As stated on a report by the United States Department of Education, Minnesota has one of the weakest bullying laws in the nation (United States Department of Education, “Analysis”). Bully Police graded Minnesota’s law as a C-, the lowest grade of all bullying laws currently regulated in the U.S. (Weber, “MPR News Investigation”; Bully Police, “Minnesota 2007”). Minnesota’s bullying law simply requires K-12 schools (elementary, middle, and high schools) to have a written policy against “bullying”. As mentioned later, the law does not state the different types of bullying, definitions of each, or what each type includes. Therefore, schools have a difficult time trying to differentiate, understand, and identify all types of bullying (State of Minnesota, “Amended 2007”). In this paper, I will be comparing bullying laws between Minnesota and New Jersey. I will argue that in order for Minnesota’s bullying law to be properly implemented, K-12 schools need to have a uniform anti-bullying policy. This can be accomplished by requiring schools to adopt a policy that includes the mention of both traditional and cyberbullying. In addition, the policy should explicitly define both types with an emphasis on cyberbullying. The policy must also state the actions the school must take following each incident. First, I provide background information on bullying. There are two types: traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Both types need to be addressed, becau... ... middle of paper ... ...ta-weak-bullying/>. Weber, Tom. Part 3: School Boards Sought Weaker Law. n.p., 16 May 2011. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. . Weber, Tom. Suicides Have Parents Questioning District’s Policies. n.p., 23 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/09/23/anoka-hennepin-suicides/>. Weber, Tom. Task Force is No Guarantee State's Bullying Law Will Change. n.p., 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 17 Dec. 2011. . Weber, Tom. To Prevent Bullying, What Schools Do Often More Important than Policy. n.p., 17 May 2011. Web. 17 Dec. 2011. . Willard, Nancy E. Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats. Champaign: Research Press, 2007. 1. Print.

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