While cyber bullying is a cause of concern for many students today, what many people don’t realize is that cyber bullying teachers is another disturbing trend that has been on the rise. This cyber bullying against teachers is being conducted by both pupils and their parents, and more than 1 in 7 teachers are reported victims of this behavior.
Cyber bullying can be a cause of serious stress on teachers, especially when it is taken to an extreme.
For example, some students have set up online hate groups on certain social networking sites which rally support for a teacher to be fired. Some of them have even crated profiles in the name of the teacher and posted information that is defamatory. It is important for schools to communicate to their pupils that this kind of behavior will result in clear punishment in order to put an end to it.
In one case, cyber bullying teachers resulted in a lawsuit by one of the high school students who was suspended for the practice by her school. The student filed a lawsuit against the principal of her Florida school arguing that her rights to free speech were violated by the disciplinary action. This case is a good example of the challenges being raised over free expression versus civil order in the new frontier of online communications.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court, concerns a senior who was suspended from school for creating a Facebook hate group about her English teacher. However, many people posted comments on the page which were critical of the student for setting up the site and instead defended the teacher. This public response prompted the student to delete the Facebook group on her own accord, but the school still suspended her for bullying.
Some websites have popped up which are dedicated to speaking out against cyber bullying teachers. A good example is the site called stopcyberbullying.org, which features tips and advice for educators on how to deal with instances of cyber bullying. One of the articles on this site discusses the use of cyber bullying to defame the reputation of others online. The author argues that while the First Amendment does defend the right of Americans to free speech, it doesn’t mean that they have a license to defame others through false accusations and hate speech.
According to US law, if someone suffers damage to their reputation due to false accusations by another person, they are entitled to sue the offending party for defamation, libel or slander. In some cases, this type of hate speech may also be considered harassment or cyber stalking, which is a crime in most states.