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What is Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can be defined as "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text." This generally occurs through the use of computers and the Internet, as bullies can send harassing emails or instant messages, post obscene, insulting, and slanderous messages to online bulletin boards or social networking sites (like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook), or develop Web sites to promote and disseminate defamatory content. Harassing text messages also can be sent to a victim via cellular phones.

With regard to student discipline, the California Legislature provided a definition of "bullying" when it revised the Education Code to include bullying as a disciplinable offense. (Ed. Code § 49800(r).)

Section 48900(r) defines an “electronic act” as:

 

(2) (A)

"Electronic act" means the creation or transmission originated on or off the school site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager, of a communication, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

 

(i)

A message, text, sound, or image.

 

(ii)

A post on a social network Internet Web site, including, but not limited to:

 

(I)

Posting to or creating a burn page. "Burn page" means an Internet Web site created for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in paragraph (1).

 

(II)

Creating a credible impersonation of another actual pupil for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in paragraph (1). "Credible impersonation" means to knowingly and without consent impersonate a pupil for the purpose of bullying the pupil and such that another pupil would reasonably believe, or has reasonably believed, that the pupil was or is the pupil who was impersonated.

 

(III)

Creating a false profile for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in paragraph (1). "False profile" means a profile of a fictitious pupil or a profile using the likeness or attributes of an actual pupil other than the pupil who created the false profile.

 

(B)

Notwithstanding paragraph (1) and subparagraph (A), an electronic act shall not constitute pervasive conduct solely on the basis that it has been transmitted on the Internet or is currently posted on the Internet. (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=48001-49000&file=48900-48927)