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Cyberbullying

May 2, 2008 • Volume 18, Issue 17
Are new laws needed to curb online aggression?
By Thomas J. Billitteri

Introduction

Tina Meier, of suburban St. Louis, Mo., holds pictures of her daughter Megan, 13, who committed suicide last year after receiving cruel messages on the social-networking site MySpace.
Tina Meier, of suburban St. Louis, Mo., holds pictures of her daughter Megan, 13, who committed suicide last year after receiving cruel messages on the social-networking site MySpace. "Josh," the 16-year-old boy she had been communicating with, turned out to be hoax. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Child advocates say a growing epidemic of "cyberbullying" — the use of computers, cell phones, social-networking sites and other technology to threaten or humiliate others — is putting young people at risk, sometimes with deadly consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled "electronic aggression" an "emerging public-health problem." Court precedents on school discipline and students' First Amendment rights provide limited guidance to educators grappling with the emerging world of cyber communication, especially transmissions originating off school grounds. Nonetheless, many states and school districts are taking strong steps aimed at curbing cyber abuse. In Congress, bills to provide new funding for online-safety programs have been introduced, but conflicts have arisen over how federal money for such efforts should be spent.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Computers
Feb. 15, 2013  Improving Cybersecurity
Apr. 13, 2012  Internet Regulation
Sep. 16, 2011  Computer Hacking
Sep. 24, 2010  Impact of the Internet on Thinking
Feb. 26, 2010  Cybersecurity
Aug. 01, 2008  Internet Accuracy
May 02, 2008  Cyberbullying
Jul. 28, 2006  Cyber Socializing
May 12, 2006  Controlling the Internet
Jun. 10, 2005  Identity Theft
Sep. 17, 2004  Cyberpolitics
Sep. 26, 2003  Cybersecurity
Apr. 12, 2002  Cyber-Crime
Oct. 27, 2000  Computers and Medicine
May 26, 2000  Future of Computers
Jan. 28, 2000  The Digital Divide
Feb. 05, 1999  Digital Commerce
Jun. 30, 1995  Regulating the Internet
May 21, 1993  Software Piracy
Sep. 30, 1988  Management's High-Tech Challenge
Jan. 09, 1987  Power Surge in Personal Computers
Feb. 13, 1981  The Computer Age
Nov. 03, 1978  America's Information Boom
Jan. 06, 1978  Computer Crime
May 12, 1971  Reappraisal of Computers
Jul. 25, 1962  Approach to Thinking Machines
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Bullying
Computers and the Internet
Internet and Social Media
Mental Health
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