California Cyberbullying Law Gives Schools More Tools to Fight Harassment

The California cyberbullying law turns up the heat on harassers by giving schools more power to fight cyberbullying on and off campus.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 256, the new California cyberbullying law, which allows for more disciplinary action to be taken by schools when bullying is present at school or even at home.

The new California cyberbullying law came after months of pressure from determined advocates, many of whom came from families with a victim of cyberbullying. The bill will go into effect in January.

The most new aspect of the California cyberbullying law is its reach; a dramatic increase in schools’ ability to punish activity from outside of school.  The new California cyberbullying law applies when students use computers, phones, media, or tablets and lets educators actually punish perpetrators even if the harassment occurs well outside school time or the campus and has nothing to do with the academic environment.

“Once cyberbullying is discovered in a text, email, or in any form this law will give school officials the tool to pursue bullies and protect the well-being of our students,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia.

The new California cyberbullying law is clearly necessary and was met with strong support from across Democratic officials in the state.  But, there is concern that the law could be misused in cases involving unsuspecting teens and privacy advocates suggest that the new law will require testing and careful administration to ensure it works to its full effectiveness.

To ensure that, parents can combine the law with monitoring technology, like MMGuardian, to ensure their children’s safety.  MMGuardian’s Text Monitor feature enables parents to monitor their child’s text messages for bullying words or phrases so, if they were found, parents could use the new law to ensure action was taken to protect their children’s safety.

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