- July 2, 2020
Cyberbullying and the First Amendment
Cyberbullying and the First Amendment 5
Cyberbullyingand the First Amendment
Cyberbullyingand the First Amendment
Cyberbullyingis one of the vices that developed from the introduction andunrestricted access to the internet. Numerous people all over theworld who access the Internet do so carefully and with fear as theymay experience cyberbullying in one way or another. Unfortunately,the freedom of speech has given individuals the right to say orcomment on anything according to their views. Most people disregardwhat the author or owner of the content and end up writing negativeand harmful remarks that end up hurting or negatively affecting theowner or individual related to the content. This is experienced whena person post items on the internet via social media sites such asFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat among others. Cyberbullyingmaybe also be experienced in messaging apps such as email.
Incases where a student in a school has been subjected tocyberbullying, various steps should be taken by the guardian or theteacher, to ensure that the student is protected from the vice andthe offender brought to book (Hindujaand Patchin, 2012).Below are steps followed to address such a situation. They include:
Inform the student that it is not his fault
Thefirst step would be to comfort the student and inform him that it isnot their fault. A sense of relief is important to ensure the studentremains calm and collected.
Do not retaliate immediately
Itis important as a teacher to investigate the issue and assess ifwhether there was evidence the cyberbullying crime happened.Immediate retaliation should be discouraged.
Save the identified online evidence
Ifany evidence is found, it should be saved to be used later whenconfronting the accused cyberbully.
Inform the offender to stop cyberbullying the student
Aftercollecting evidence supporting cyberbullying incidence, the offenderis approached in a calm manner to understand why he was cyberbullyingthe student. After having a reasonable conversation, it is thenimportant to inform the offender to desist from that vice completely.
Seek necessary assistance if need be
Incase the offender refuses to stop cyberbullying activities, it isimportant to inform higher authoritative figures who will handle theissue in a more authoritative manner like the school principle or theoffender’s parents.
Use available technological tools to prevent such cases
Theuse of security tools on social media such as blocking and beinginvincible in chat rooms are ways to avoid cyberbullying incidences.The student should block the offender on all social media platforms.This will help safeguard him from any more interactions with thecyber bully.
Take a stand
Itis important to take a stand against cyberbullying and empower thestudent who is being bullied. This can be encouraged by listening tothe bullied student and speaking against it when communicating withthe offender. It is crucial that the anti-bullying message is passedacross to the cyber bully and is informed that both the teacher andthe student will condone the vice.
Onthe other hand, the culprit may claim that according to the firstamendment, he is empowered to the freedom of expression (Knake,2014).This gives the culprit the right to say whatever he feels is rightaccording to his mind. However, the right of freedom of speech andexpression should not be directed to an individual with the aim fornegatively affecting or hurting another person. In the event thecyberbullying activities are occurring in schools, there are lawsthat govern such activities, and there are existing repercussions.This will encourage the culprit to continue practicing his freedom ofspeech, but ensuring that his speech does not contain harmful ornegative aspects that may directly harm another student. This viceshould be discouraged completely in schools and learninginstitutions.
Hinduja,S., & Patchin, J. W. (2012). Schoolclimate 2.0: Preventing cyberbullying and sexting one classroom at atime.Corwin Press
Knake,R. N. (2014). Legal Information, the Consumer Law Market, and theFirst Amendment. FordhamLaw Review, 82,12-10.