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Cyberbullying: Ohio Laws

October 27, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

It is essential to understand Ohio’s cyberbullying laws to truly grasp what the issue involves. These laws offer definitions and explanations to help people comprehend exactly what cyberbullying is and how it occurs. Having this knowledge better enables a person to avoid cyberbullying situations.

Within the Ohio Revised Code, cyberbullying laws do not use that specific term. Instead, the terms used are harassment, bullying and intimidation, and it states that it encompasses any of these behaviors that occurs via electronic means. Acts that fall under the law can be written, verbal or physical. To fall under the definition, they must be persistent and cause some type of harm to the other person. In addition, this code is quite focused on issues occurring in schools, and specifies that violations of the code are to be handled based on their policies.

Another section of the Ohio Revised Code also addresses cyberbullying with a focus on telecommunications harassment. Any type of abusive or aggravating actions using a device such as a computer or mobile phone falls under this code. Behaviors can include vulgar language, threats or intimidation. People are banned from calling during hours that would be considered inconvenient solely for the purpose of provoking or pestering the recipient. This code also covers posting images on the internet intended to disturb another person, and making false reports of a death or injury of a family member as an attempt to torment. Violating this section of the code could result in a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, and fines.

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