Sunday, January 3, 2010

LA Times Editorial Stance on Cyberbullying

The LA Times had an interesting editorial the other day against schools enforcing anti-cyberbullying activities for actions taken off of school grounds.

The arguments of the editorial "Schools should not be responsible for policing Cyberbullying" definitely have merits from a legal standpoint. What is not discussed in the editorial is the fact that a huge amount of cyberbullying and bullying in general activities of kids have their genesis in the school setting, and therefore to some degree they bear some responsibility.

So rather than hiding behind legal frameworks, schools should be doing everything in their power to fight against bullying and cyberbullying. They should be empowering teachers to crack down forcefully on bullying within their hallways--which inevitably lead to cyberbullying outside their hallways.

The first line of the editoriaI is "Parents, not schools, are the first line of defense against cyberbullying." While this is true, it is by no means the entire story. Schools need to do everything they can to help parents in this regard. Take the example of Ryan Halligan--I know that Ryan's father did what he could to help and protect his son. It is adding cruelty to injury to suggest that he should have done more. There are far too many stories like those of Ryan Halligan, and as a society, we should be thinking of ways to prevent these tragedies rather than focusing on legal merits.

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