Cyber-Bullying Laws Explained
Cyber-Bullying Laws are statutory legislation enacted in order to combat the damage and devastation resulting from the abuse and harassment latent within Cyber-Bullying. Cyber-Bullying is defined as a criminal act in which individuals are targeted and victimized by a wide range of malicious, damaging, and demeaning activity undertaken through the usage of the Internet and online networks.
Due to the growing reliance on an online, virtual setting for the provision of not only commercial activity, but social activity as well, legislative adjustments and developments have been enacted in order to provide substantial means of deterrence and cessation of Cyber-Bullying.
The Legal Field of Cyber-Bullying Laws
Cyber-Bullying Laws exist within the legal parameters of Cyber Law, which is also known as ‘Computer Law’ or ‘Internet Law’. The field of Cyber Law is identified as the legal jurisdiction responsible for the prosecution of Cyber-Bullying charges facilitated through the usage of electronic networks and technologically-based communication systems relying on the Internet as a means of utility. Cyber-Bullying Laws ensure that individuals undertaking the use of the Internet do so only in conjunction with legal, ethical, and moral means.
Types of Cyber-Bullying Laws
Due to the vast expanse of bullying currently taking place, both within physical sectors, as well as within virtual sectors, Cyber-Bullying Laws enacted in order to preserve and protect the rights of the victims affected by Cyber-Bullying are subject to variation.
Local Cyber-Bullying Laws
Individual school districts are granted the autonomy to formulate their own respective Cyber-Bullying Laws. Although these laws are not considered to be viable legislation, the adherence to standards and practices of decorum within individual schools are considered to be requirements for the students in attendance. In many cases, individual school districts will host community meetings in order to discuss prospective methodology that may be undertaken in order to be of assistance to the provision and protection of the safety and well-being of the student body.
Cyber-Bullying Laws by State
As recent as February of 2011, upwards of 35 States within the United States of America have enacted Bullying Laws. Although these laws are not expressly set forth with regard to jurisdiction of bullying taking place within the digital, virtual sector, many Cyber-Bullying offenses are addressed within their respective statutes.
As of February of 2011, upwards of 15 States have enacted Cyber-Bullying Laws, which only include statutory legislation with regard to bullying taking place through both the usage of online networks and the Internet.
Federal Cyber-Bullying Laws
The ‘Megan Meier Cyber-Bullying Prevention Act’ was passed by Congress in April of 2009, making it the first Federal Cyber-Bullying Law passed in the United States of America. The Bill was passed a s a result of Megan Meier’s suicide in 2006.
Megan Meier is considered to be amongst the first cases of suicide resulting from Cyber-Bullying within the United States of America. She was habitually Cyber-Bullied through the use of a social networking website.
Cyber-Bullying Laws and Legal Recourse
Individuals who have been the victims of Cyber-Bullying, as well as those who have been made aware of events of Cyber-Bullying, are encouraged to contact the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272. In the event that an individual wishes not to be named, reports of Cyber-Bullying can be conducted anonymously.