Author(s): Jill Joline Myers
The public expects school personnel to resolve cyber bullying issues that affect primary and secondary students. School administrators struggle with their role, legal authority to intervene, decision to censor communications by minors, and disciplinary decision making. School authority to intercede in student expression is governed by constitutional provisions, legislative enactments, school district regulations, Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs), and prior court precedents. Because cyber bullying is a recent phenomenon, the constitutionality and effectiveness of these measures have yet to be proven or established. Schools do not have the luxury of waiting for clear laws, proven policies, or precedential legal authority to develop and surface. As a result, many schools turn to the courts for guidance when conflict arises between a school's authority and a student's Constitutional First Amendment rights. This manual for school administrators is dedicated to the competing principles: 1) that schools are not required to surrender control over school activities to students, and 2) that students are exposed to a robust exchange of ideas.
The classroom needs to be a marketplace of ideas where First Amendment free expression exists, but a safe and orderly school environment conducive to learning must be maintained. This manual provides public school leaders and front-line school personnel with data-driven solutions for resolving cyber bullying incidents.
Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction: The Digital Generation Expresses Itself Part I. Resolving School Cyber Situations 1. Untangling the Confusion Involving Public School Censorship 2. Supreme Court Speaks on Student Expression 3. The Local Take on Student Expression 4. Inappropriate Student Expressions Controlled by Fraser 5. Antipedagogical Student Expressions Controlled by Hazelwood 6. Disruptive Student Expressions Controlled by Tinker 7. School Authority Beyond the Schoolhouse Gate 8. A School's Duty to Protect 9. Proactive Approaches to Cyber Bullying Part II. Lessons Learned and Rules to Live By 10. Four Lessons Learned From Experience 11. Top Ten Rules That Govern School Authority Over Student Cyber Expressions Part III. The MATRIX: An Administrator's Decision-Making Tool 12. Introduction to the MATRIX 13. Working the MATRIX Glossary Index