Is Cyber Bullying a Crime? 

 April 5, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Technology provides opportunities for long distance communication that spans through states, countries, and cultures. The Internet, specifically, allows people to share information and ideas, but the Internet has turned from a tool to a weapon in some cases.

Currently, children and teenagers use the Internet and social media to pick on others and discourage their classmates. Cyber bullying is when you use electronic devices to degrade or even taunt an individual. Cyber bullying usually intimidates or threatens someone through online messaging, which causes personal hurt to the recipients.

Some children think these messages are just a joke or a funny prank. Others enjoy cyber bullying someone because it gives them a sense of power. Cyber bullying has become a serious problem that we as a society need to address.

It’s the Law.

Cyber bullying is destructive and harmful, but it is also against Florida law. The Florida Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies include cyber bullying, especially when cyber bullying occurs among children in primary or secondary schools.

Under the section “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,” the law prohibits any bullying or harassment of students or employees in K-through-12 public schools.

Bullying, including cyber bullying, refers to systematic and chronic infliction of physical pain or psychological distress on one or more students. This may include, but it is not limited to:

– Teasing

– Social exclusion

– Threats & intimidation

– Stalking

– Physical violence

– Theft

– Sexual, religious or racial harassment

– Public or private humiliation.

Since cyber bullying relies on technology and the Internet, it includes but is not limited to: any transfer of rights, signals, writing, images, sounds, etc. by way of the Internet.