15 Sep Your school’s responsibility
Part of feeling safe at school also means feeling safe outside of school.
A fellow student may not bully you on campus, but if he/she bullies you off campus, or online, your safety in school is compromised. In cases such as these, let your school know exactly what is happening. Print out proof and bring it in.
Legally, because the bullying is happening off campus, a school may be limited in how far they can extend their influence. In some cases, schools have been sued for becoming involved in issues that happen off campus. The idea of a lawsuit can make schools reluctant to get involved. But, if your school has a code of conduct policy, in all likelihood, such bullying will violate that code of conduct and therefore the school will be in a better position to take action. This is why schools and communities should be discussing policy so that your school knows what it can do legally and contractually to keep you safe. That way, they can act immediately to help in any way they can and they can also implement policies that help to limit cyberbullying.
At the very least, many schools can act as a conduit (meaning a bridge) in bringing awareness to the parents about what is occurring in a student’s life. If you only know a person through school contact, and that person is bullying you off campus, then the school should be informed and the school can decide how involved they wish to be.
School involvement can vary. Some schools, pressed for time and resources, can often be very “hands off” when it comes to anything that happens off campus. Often, schools will say that if it happens off-campus, it is not their responsibility. As a result, parental involvement is often of paramount importance when dealing with cyber-bullying. Keeping communities and schools safe is a group effort. Make sure you at least communicate to your school what is happening and voice your opinion on what you think is the right thing for your school to do.
What do you think? What responsibility does a school have in events such as cyber-bullying that take place off campus but affect you on campus?