New Illinois law will ban cyber bullying outside the classroom in 2015

Published: Dec. 19, 2014 at 10:34 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM CST
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WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - Starting on January 1, 2015, a law will take effect that will protect students across Illinois by banning cyber bullying outside the classroom.

It doesn't matter whether a student is at home or in school.

This law is an expansion of past legislation that banned cyber bullying specifically in schools. Now, the idea is to prohibit online bullying anywhere.

At Frankfort Community High School, faculty and staff, parents or students can inform the school of any cyber bullying they've noticed.

"Once we have that firsthand knowledge of it, we have to address it right away," Frankfort Community high School principal, Bethany Shaw said. "So we'll call the student down and then it's dealt with under our bullying policy just as if they would walk up and start a fight."

Shaw states in addition to that, administrators urge the online bullying attack to be taken down immediately.

"And sometimes we would have to turn it over to the law enforcement if it's more complicated than what we would have to deal with at the school," Shaw said.

Parents agree that this law is needed for schools.

"A lot of parents, if they're at work or whatever, they can't always watch to see what their kids are doing or even on their cell phones, so I think it's a great idea," Illinois parent, Debbie Brackney said.

The law requires a school's anti-bullying policy to include any act of bullying that causes a disruption to a school's operations or educational process.

Shaw said one of the things the district has been really proactive in is encouraging students to promote positive social media use.

"We encourage all of our students to post positive things that are going on in the school," Shaw said. "We're hoping if we can get them to do things of that nature, they won't be looking for those negative bullying things to do."

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