Cyber Bullying: Court Case Summaries

Wed, Apr 28, 2010

Legal Issues

We know that wading through a heap of legal documents to find out about current legal cases on cyber bullying probably ranks right along with having root canal work done, but luckily for you others have already done that and produced some great summaries along the way.

One of the best resources we have come across is Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin (2010), by Judge Tom Jacobs.  In this concise, well-written, easy-to-read book, Judge Jacobs looks at State, Federal, and European laws on cyberbullying and lays out and discusses sixteen court cases that relate to cyber bullying as follows:

Justin Boucher v. School District of Greenfield (1998)

Nick Emmett v. Kent School District (2000)

Zachariah Paul v. Franklin Regional School District (2001)

State v. Joshua Mortimer (2001)

J.S. v. Bethlehem Area School District (2002)

I.M.L. v. State of Utah (2002)

Jon Coy v. Canton City Schools (2002)

Joshua Mahaffey v. Waterford School District (2002)

Jack Flaherty Jr. v. Keystone Oaks School District (2003)

Ryan Dwyer v. Oceanport School District (2005)

Gregory Requa v. Kent School District (2007)

Justin Layshock v. Hermitage School District (2007)

Aaron Wisniewski v. Weedsport Central School District (2007)

A.B. v. State of Indiana (2008)

Avery Doninger v. Lewis Mills High School (2008)

United States v. Lori Drew (2008).

Judge Jacobs gives an excellent overview of all sixteen cases and provides thought-provoking questions to enourage a dialogue with students.  Also, check out Judge Jacobs’ website:   

Another resource we like is Truths and Myths of Cyber-Bullying: International Perspectives on Stakeholder Responsibility and Children’s Safety (2010), edited by Shaheen Shariff and Andrew H. Churchill.  This book has an indepth section on Legal Issues which includes:

Legal Issues Related to Cyber-bullying (J.A. Stefkovich, E.R. Crawford, & M.P. Murphy)

Morse v. Frederick and Cyberbullying in Schools: The Impact of Freedom of Expression, Disciplinary Authority, and School Leadership (P.D. Pauken)

Mediated Speech and Communication Rights: Situating Cyber-bullying within the Emerging Global Internet Governance Regime (M.Raboy & J. Shtern).

For more information on cyber bullying and the law, take a look at Cyberbullying Legislation and School Policies, written by Nancy Willard

Finally, take a look at this Cyberbullying Fact Sheet produced by Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja which gives a “brief review of relevant legal and policy issues.”  It provides a good overview written by “non-lawyers.”

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