49 states, including Kentucky, have an anti-bullying law. Over 20 states now have some from of Cyber Bullying law. According to Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission report for the annual Topics Before The Kentucky General Assembly Cyber Bullying could come up this years
Here are more details from the LRC’s Jo Carole Ellis And Joshua Collins:
Cyber Bullying In Schools
• Cyber bullying involves the use of technology, such as email, instant messaging, and online
personal polling websites, to harm others.
• Cyber bullying may be connected to low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, anger, frustration,
school problems, antisocial behavior, substance use, delinquency, and a variety of other
emotional and psychological problems.
• Students who bully others often have persistently poor adaptive behavioral patterns and may
be at increased risk for serious injury, alcohol dependency, and delinquency that may
continue through their lives.
• Over 21 percent of students in the United States report having been cyber bullied. Ten
percent of students reported being bullied online, 7 percent via phone, and 8 percent via text
• Kentucky’s antibullying legislation, which included cyber bullying and expanded the
elements of the crime of harassing communications—a Class B misdemeanor—to include
students enrolled in a local school district who cyber bully another student.
• The law also requires model policies dealing with bullying and student conduct be provided
to school districts by the Kentucky Department of Education. Each school district’s policy
must specify the procedures for reporting and investigating violations.
• Some courts have found some state cyber bullying laws as overly broad and in violation of
the First Amendment freedom of speech. Other courts have upheld state action when online
speech has caused a substantial disruption at school.
• The Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force, established by the Governor in
October 2014, is charged with analyzing existing laws and policies, collecting training and
resource materials, and submitting its findings and recommendations for policy initiatives
and school practices by November 15, 2015.
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