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Cyberbullying: How School Systems Are Fighting the Problem

November 9, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

Cyberbullying issues have become a major focus of Ohio schools and lawmakers. CNN reported that there is an increasing number of stories about school-aged children taking their own lives due to bullying in a school setting. Because of the internet, the ability to harass and intimidate others has been expanded and can now involve a larger number of people. This leads to more extreme cases and more severe results.

The ultimate goal is to prevent cyberbullying and stop it from occurring to any student, even if it happens outside of school walls. Any type of violent or harassing behavior that threatens a student, including physical or psychological actions, could be considered bullying regardless of where it takes place. According to Ohio Legal Services, as long as the behavior involves children enrolled at a school, it can be handled by its administration.

The state has a specific part of the Ohio Revised Code that addresses bullying of any kind in schools and how they must handle this problem. Schools, with the exception of private schools, must have policies in place to clearly define the problem behaviors what falls under the label of bullying and cyberbullying. They also need to have well-defined reporting procedures and a process for handling incidents. Finally, they must have definitive punishments in place to deal with those who have been accused and found guilty, and provide the public with periodic reports on bullying incidents. Schools are ultimately responsible for ensuring students have a safe learning environment and therefore need to investigate all incidents reported.

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