Cyberbullying: School, Library or Church Legal Liability

Lawsuit for Harassment?

Cyberbullying could attract a lawsuit for a school or other educational institution. The Internet is the new medium for harassment. Churches, libraries, community centers (places with shared computers) and the like need to supervise electronic communication (text, instant message (IM), Facebook, Myspace, Youtube and other social network site chat) today as they have supervised hallways and playgrounds in the past.

States such as Arkansas, Iowa and Missouri are amending their anti-harassment laws to include cyberbullying.

Institutions like schools are at risk of liability if they are negligent about harassment.  Casey County, Kentucky, schools agreed to pay five students a total of $110,000 to settle a lawsuit for failing to deal with old-fashioned bullying.  A more modern version of that same lawsuit would involve (at least in part) harassment via electronic communication.

Now that computer communication is the norm, Internet monitoring grows more compulsory for teachers and administrators.

–Ben Wright – Instructor on Computer Law at the SANS Institute.

Mr. Wright maintains other blogs on Internet law

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One Response to “Cyberbullying: School, Library or Church Legal Liability”

  1. Cyberbullying Tarnishes an Organization’s Reputation « Internet Safety | How to Filter, Block, Monitor the World Wide Web Says:

    [...] an organization be held legally liable for bullying engaged by its users? It could. But what’s more likely at risk is the organization’s reputation. Internet trash talk [...]


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