CHARISMA UNIVERSITY CYBER-BULLYING POLICY
Cyber-bullying and Cyber Harassment Policy Statement
A safe and civil environment is necessary for students to be successful in their educational pursuits. Cyber-bullying or cyber harassment by any member of the Charisma University community (student, faculty, staff, etc.) toward another individual constitutes conduct that disrupts the educational environment of the University. Examples of cyber-bullying and cyber harassment include, but are not limited to, harsh text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Cyber-bullying and cyber harassment are prohibited by many state laws (as referenced below), by various federal laws, and many jurisdictions throughout the international community.
Charisma University will not tolerate lewd, intimidating or other disorderly conduct by or toward members of its community. The following are examples of instances where social media can cause harm to the University or a member of the CU community or may violate policies:
A Charisma University student establishes a Twitter account that encourages others to submit negative anonymous messages to an account that will be redistributed by the account holder.
A member of the University community establishes a fake account under the name of an official University official or department and uses the name and trademark to post vicious comments or other content.
A member of the University faculty or staff uses his or her blog or social media account to berate or otherwise discuss engagement with or judgment of a student’s work or other information considered confidential or proprietary by FERPA or HIPPA.
Cyber-bullying and cyber harassment are direct violations of several standards of the CU Standard of Conduct. The Code prohibits acts of cyber-bullying or cyber harassment through the use of any electronic technology, which includes, but is not limited to, devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers and tablets as well as communication tools, including, but not limited to, text messages, chat platforms, websites and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Bebo, and blogs. Students who use University networks or technology to conduct such activity may be disciplined in accordance with Charisma University’s Standard of Conduct.
All other members of the University community are likewise prohibited from engaging in cyber-bullying or cyber harassment, and instances will be adjudicated through the proper established channels.
Students who feel that they are being bullied or harassed through electronic technology should immediately report it to the office of University President, Dr. John Beyer, through contact as follows:
Dr. John Beyer
Unit 214, 30 Sandcastle Road
Neptune CT, Grace Bay
Turks & Caicos Islands
British West Indies
What exactly is Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is the willful and repeated use of cell phones, computers, and other electronic communication devices to harass and threaten others. Instant messaging, chat rooms, e-mails, and messages posted on websites are the most common methods of this new twist of bullying. Cyber-bullying is a broad range of behaviors or actions in which a person uses technology in a way that is perceived as aggressive or threatening to another person. Cyberbullies can quickly spread messages and images to a vast audience, while remaining anonymous, often making them difficult to trace. It is challenging to characterize cyber-bullying in legislation, however, language attempting to do so has included terminology such as electronic communication, cyber-bullying, and electronic/internet intimidation. It may consist of the following acts:
- Hijacking/cloning e-mail accounts
- Making threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating remarks in chat rooms, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, or other social media platforms
- Using mobile phone cameras to cause distress, fear, or humiliation
- Posting threatening, abusive, defamatory, or humiliating material on websites, by use of Instagram, Messenger, or other electronic media
- Bullying by text messages or calls on mobile phones
What are some possible consequences of cyberbullying?
Experiences of being bullied can lead to serious health and psychological problems including:
- Social withdrawal
- Low self-esteem
- Emotional distress
- Suffering academic performance
What can I do if I’m a victim of cyber-bullying?
- You should let the person know that what they are doing is not okay and ask them to stop. Make it clear that the contact is unwanted.
- Do not delete anything until university officials and where appropriate, law enforcement officials have had the opportunity to review the abusive message.
- Unfriend/block the person on social media or phone.
- Do not attempt to remedy abusive messages by replying with equally abusive responses, but do log and report them.
- Make a report through the Office of the President through one of the methods listed above.
- Do not share personal IT details.
If you suspect cyber-bullying or an incident is reported to you, follow the protocol outlined below:
- Request that the student allow you to view the computer or mobile device.
- Clearly note everything relating to an inappropriate text message, image, e-mail, blog entry, chat entry, etc., including the date, time, names, and other pertinent information.
- Request that the student save the abusive message/image.
- Accompany and/or assist the student through the process of reporting the incident to the Office of the President.
When does cyber-bullying become a crime?
Every situation is different and whether a specific case is considered a crime will depend on its specific factors. The senior staff members of Charisma University will diligently investigate and appropriately respond to every single report of cyber-bullying, and rely on applicable Statutes, CU’s Standard of Conduct, and meet jurisdictional requirements as we address these issues.
Charisma University fully embraces the advantages of modern technology in terms of the educational benefits it brings. However, we are mindful of the potential for bullying to occur. Central to our anti-bullying policy is the belief that ‘all students have a right not to be bullied’ and that ‘bullying is always unacceptable’. CU also recognizes that we must take note of bullying perpetrated outside the university community which spills over into the university.
While education and guidance remain at the heart of what we do, Charisma University reserves the right to take action against those who take part in cyber-bullying. We will remain vigilant and at all times communicate the following messages to staff and students alike:
▶ All bullying is damaging but cyber-bullying and harassment can be invasive of privacy at all times. These acts may also be criminal acts.
▶ Charisma University supports victims and, when necessary, will work with law enforcement to detect those involved in criminal acts.
▶ Charisma University will use, as appropriate, the full range of sanctions to correct, punish, or remove students who bully fellow students or staff, both in and away from the university setting.
▶ All members of the CU community are aware they have a duty to bring to the attention of university leadership any example of cyber-bullying or harassment that they know about or suspect.
Further support and guidance may be obtained from the following:
The following information can be downloaded from the above website: Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools (2007):
▶ Cyber-bullying Guidance and Resources. Safe to Learn
▶ Cyber-bullying Summary Leaflet
www.antibullying.net/cyber-bullying1.htm for an Information Sheet for Teachers and other Professionals who work with Young People
www.becta.org.uk for information on safeguarding learners
Beatbullying Rochester House
4 Belvedere Road London
020 8771 3377 www.beatbullying.org
National Childrens Bureau
8 Wakley Street
020 7843 1901 www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
*** Please note that jurisdiction specific inclusions do not represent an exhaustive list of cyber-bullying treatment and are merely included here to illustrate how the topic is defined, codified, addressed in a particular forum. CU administrators will take care to follow appropriate guidelines should a cyber-bullying issue arise.
Cyber-bullying Enacted Legislation (U.S. state jurisdictions): 2006-2010
The safety of educational communities is increasingly becoming a focus of local, state, national, and international legislative action. School bullying and harassment policies are being supplemented to provide students protection from cyber-bullying.
Bullying isn’t just something that happens with children, it is also prevalent among college students and in the workplace. Virtual harassment and threats are just as serious as those made in person, and can feel more devastating because of possible anonymity, public nature, audience size, and long-lasting effects. Cyber-bullying can be extremely damaging to a student’s personal and academic life.
Provides for the adoption of policies by public school systems pertaining to the prevention of harassment of one student against another student, provides that the right of freedom of speech would not be abridged, requires the State Department of Education to develop a model policy for local boards pertaining to student harassment prevention. Promotes school-based or community-based alternative programs outside of the classroom.
Provides that it is unlawful for a juvenile to use an electronic communication device to transmit or display a visual depiction of a minor that depicts explicit sexual material or to intentionally or knowingly possess such a visual depiction that was transmitted to the juvenile through the use of such a device, modifies the crimes of aggravated assault and domestic violence, specifies that an order of protection against a person accused of domestic violence may include provisions to protect an animal.
Includes cyberbullying in school district harassment prevention policies. Requires every public school district to have policies to prevent pupil harassment including bullying and cyberbullying. Policies need to address bullying in school, on school property, or electronic acts that result in substantial disruption of the educational environment.
Specifies that bullying, as used in the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985, includes acts that constitute sexual harassment, hate violence, or severe or pervasive intentional harassment, threats, or intimidation and that are committed personally or by means of an electronic communications device or system. Provides grounds for school officials to suspend a pupil or recommend a pupil for expulsion for bullying, including bullying by electronic act.
Requires each school district, to adopt an internet safety plan consisting of a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum teaching the safe and legal use of the internet; encourages each school district to use existing internet safety resources available from nonprofit organizations and to work with local law enforcement agencies in adopting and developing the curriculum; directs each school district to identify a person who is responsible for overseeing implementation of the internet safety plan. Includes online bullying as a topic that the curriculum may address.
S.B. 1138 (also see H.B. 5826 and 2002 Connecticut Public Act 2-119)
“Cyberbullying” means any act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications…” School policies must “include provisions addressing bullying outside of the school setting if such bullying (A) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, (B) infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or (C) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school…”
Creates the School Bullying Prevention Act. This bill provides for a safer learning environment for students attending public schools, including charter schools, in the State of Delaware and for the staff members of those institutions. The bill requires each school district and charter school to establish a policy on bullying prevention with certain minimal requirements including, but not limited to developing a bullying prevention program and reporting bullying to the Delaware Department of Education. Electronic communication is included in the definition of bullying.
Prohibits bullying or harassment during education programs or activities, on school buses, or through use of data or computer software accessed through school computer systems; defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students; requires procedures as a prerequisite to receipt of school funds.
Relates to prohibited acts of bullying at public schools; relates to unlawful disruption of the operation of public schools, at bus stops, on public school buses or by use of data or software access through a computer network or electronic technology of a local school system; provides that a mental state of knowledge, intention, or recklessness shall be an element; includes physical acts; provides that a student can be reassigned to another school for the purpose of separating such student from the victim.
HB 688 (also see SB 2094 and HB 2295)
The legislature finds that all students have the right to participate fully in the educational process, free from bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment. A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and to meet high academic standards. Bullying and harassment, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, are forms of conduct that disrupt both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment.
Provides that no student shall intentionally commit, or conspire to commit, an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying against another student. Provides that an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may also be committed through the use of a land line, car phone or wireless telephone or through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system or computer network. Provides that a student who personally violates any provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Amends and adds to existing law to provide that superintendents and principals may temporarily suspend pupils for student harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Concerns bullying prevention education and gang resistance. Prohibits bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, sex, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, military status or sexual orientation while in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities. Prohibits bullying through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment. Includes private schools.
HB 1423 (also see HB 1276)
(Public Law 285) “‘bullying’ means overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically), physical acts committed, aggression, or any other behaviors, that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the other targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment.”
Provides that school districts and accredited nonpublic schools shall adopt anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies. Defines “harassment” and “bullying” to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on an actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets specified conditions. Provides that “trait or characteristic of the student” includes, but is not limited to, age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or family status. Requires districts and accredited nonpublic schools to develop and maintain a system to collect harassment and bullying incidence data and to integrate the policy into the comprehensive school improvement plan.
Adds cyberbullying to school districts’ policies that prohibit bullying at school. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying by use of any electronic communication device, including email, instant messaging, blogs, mobile phones and websites.
Relates to felony assaults on public school students; requires school districts to have procedures for reporting and assisting students engaging in disruptive and disorderly behavior, including assault, harassment, intimidation, or bullying of another student; provides for privacy rights of all personally identifiable information collected; provides that such data shall be placed in a student’s disciplinary record; requires a strategy for protecting from retaliation. Includes electronic communication in forms of harassing communications.
HB 1259, Act 989 (also see HB 364, Act 230)
Requires the governing authority of each public elementary and secondary school to conduct a review of the student code of conduct and amend such code to assure the code addresses cyberbullying; requires the adoption of policies establishing procedures for the investigation of reports of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, including cyberbullying, of a student by another student.
MRSA Section 6553
“Bullying” includes, but is not limited to, a written, oral or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student or students that:
(1) Has, or a reasonable person would expect it to have, the effect of:
(a) Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property; or
(b) Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or damage to the student’s
(2) Interferes with the rights of a student by:
(a) Creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment for the student; or
(b) Interfering with the student’s academic performance or ability to participate in or benefit
from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school; or
(3) Is based on a student’s actual or perceived characteristics identified in Title 5, section 4602
or 4684-A, or is based on a student’s association with a person with one or more of these
actual or perceived characteristics or any other distinguishing characteristics and that has the
effect described in subparagraph (1) or (2).
“Bullying” includes cyberbullying. [2011, c. 659, §3 (NEW).]
- “Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted by the use of any electronic device, including, but not limited to, a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text messaging device and personal digital assistant. [2011, c. 659, §3 (NEW).]
Requires the State Board of Education to develop a model policy prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation in schools; requires certain county boards of education to establish certain policies prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools based on the model policy. Regards bullying, harassment, or intimidation as intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication, that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being.
Prohibits bullying on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or related activity, or through the use of an electronic device whether the device is school-owned or not, requires age-appropriate instruction, requires the development of an anti-bullying plan, authorizes anti-discrimination or harassment policies, requires related professional development.
(Not Legislative Enactment)
HF 826, 7th Engrossment
Intimidating, threatening, abusive, or harming conduct may involve, but is not
limited to, conduct that causes physical harm to a student or a student’s property or
causes a student to be in reasonable fear of harm to person or property; under Minnesota
common law, violates a student’s reasonable expectation of privacy, defames a student,
or constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress against a student; is directed at
any student or students, including those based on a person’s actual or perceived race,
ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, marital status,
familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, including
gender identity and expression, academic status related to student performance, disability,
or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined
in chapter 363A. However, prohibited conduct need not be based on any particular
characteristic defined in this paragraph or chapter 363A.
Prohibits bullying or harassing behavior in the schools; defines such behavior; defines hostile environment; requires all school districts to adopt a policy prohibiting such behavior. Includes electronic communications in bullying behaviors.
Missouri Revised Statutes Section 160.775.1
“‘Bullying’ means intimidation or harassment that causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or property. Bullying may consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyberbullying, electronic, or written communication, and any threat of retaliation for reporting of such acts.”
State has a criminal statute prohibiting harassment via electronic means: “a person commits the offense of violating privacy in communications if the person knowingly or purposely: (a) with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend, communicates with a person by electronic communication and uses obscene, lewd, or profane language, suggests a lewd or lascivious act, or threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person
Requires the development and adoption of a policy concerning bullying prevention and education for all students. The school district shall review and approve the policy annually. Bullying is defined as any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse on school grounds, in a vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by a school being used for a school purpose by a school employee or his or her designee, at a designated school bus stop, or at school-sponsored activities or school-sponsored athletic events.
Revises provisions governing safe and respectful learning environments in public schools to include a prohibition on bullying and cyberbullying, requires the standards of content and performance for courses of study in computer education and technology established by the Council to Establish Academic Standards for Public Schools to include a policy for the ethical, safe and secure use of computers and other electronic devices, revises certain prohibited acts to specifically include cyberbullying.
The school board of each school district shall adopt a written policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, intimidation, and cyberbullying.
“A person commits the crime of cyber-harassment if, while making a communication in an online capacity via any electronic device or through a social networking site and with the purpose to harass another, the person:
(1) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person;
(2) knowingly sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or
(3) threatens to commit any crime against the person or the person’s property.”
Requires the commissioner of education to develop resources and technical assistance for schools and students concerning the safe and responsible use of the internet, including cyberbullying.
Revises the school violence prevention act to include provisions on employee liability, cyberbullying, and disciplinary action.
Whereas, it is essential to enact a law that seeks to protect the health and welfare of North Carolina students and improve the learning environment for North Carolina students; and
Whereas, to do so, State and national data and anecdotal evidence have established the need to identify the most vulnerable targets and potential victims of bullying and harassment;
Relates to prevention of bullying in public and nonpublic schools, includes bullying on school district premises, school buses or school vehicle, or at any school sponsored activities and events. Also prohibits retaliation to witness and reporters of bullying.
Enacts the School Day Security and Anti-Bullying Act to require instruction on and parental notification of public schools’ policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
Includes harmful electronic communication in the definition of bullying. Also requires school district boards of education to investigate allegations of bullying and intimidation.
Requires school districts to prohibit harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying. Bullying includes behavior at school-sponsored activities, school transportation and bus stops
Requires school districts to prohibit harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying, considers a school district to be nonstandard if school district does not comply with requirements, relates to interference with the psychological well-being of a student, provides for protected classes of status including race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, source of income or disability, includes behavior at school-sponsored activities, school transportation and bus stops.
Defines bullying as any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a series of acts: directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive, and that has the effect of doing any of the following: substantially interfering with a student’s education, creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school, and “school setting” shall mean in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
SB 2012 (also see SB 2021, HB 5941, and HB 7213)
Expands the definition of student discipline codes relating to harassment or bullying to include electronic communications; includes a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text-messaging device and personal data assistance devices.
Prohibits cyber harassing and cyber stalking.
Defines harassment, intimidation and bullying and requires school districts to adopt policies prohibiting this behavior. Bullying includes electronic communication. The State Board of Education shall develop model policies applicable to grades kindergarten to 12 and shall develop teacher preparation program standards on the identification and prevention of bullying. Schools and school districts are encouraged to establish bullying prevention programs. Provides immunity to a school employee or volunteer who promptly reports an incident to the appropriate school official.
Requires the school board of each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying. Also provides that school district employees who report bullying will be immune from action for damages from failure to remedy the reported incident.
Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 49-6-1014 (see also SB 283, HB 301, HB 2641, and HB 1105)
The general assembly finds and declares that:
(1) A safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards;
(2) Harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying, like other disruptive or violent behavior, is conduct that disrupts a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment;
(3) Students learn by example. School administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers who demonstrate appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying, encourage others to do so as well; and
(4) The use of telephones, cellular phones or other wireless telecommunication devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), computers, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, and web sites by students in a manner that is safe and secure is essential to a safe and civil learning environment and is necessary for students to successfully use technology.
Defines bullying in include cyberbullying, bullying at school sponsored events and activities, and school vehicles. Also prohibits the imposition of a disciplinary measure on a student who is found to be a victim of bullying.
SB 304 (also see HB 325 and SB 91)
“‘Cyber-bullying” means using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual, regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communication.”
Includes electronic actions into definition of bullying and permits students to be disciplined for certain actions committed outside of school hours. Also creates a position to direct harassment and bullying prevention and response training initiatives.
Relates to Board of Education model policies for codes of student conduct, provides for the inclusion of electronic bullying, harassment, and intimidation in such policies, and provides for the dissemination of information to students, parents, and school personnel.
Requires each school district to adopt a revised model policy and procedure that prohibits harassment, intimidation and bullying.
HB 4368 ( also see HB 3225)
Creates a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Students and School Personnel. Also creates local school improvement councils to examine school discipline and policies.
Requires the development of a school bullying policy.
Provides that harassment, intimidation or bullying is prohibited, and requires school districts to adopt related prevention policies.
Although no federal law directly addresses bullying, in some cases, bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment when it is based on race, national origin, color, sex, age, disability, or religion. When bullying and harassment overlap, federally-funded schools (including colleges and universities) have an obligation to resolve the harassment. When the situation is not adequately resolved, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division may be able to help.
Schools are obligated by these laws to address conduct that is:
- Severe, pervasive or persistent
- Creates a hostile environment at school. That is, it is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school
- Based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion
Although the US Department of Education, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not directly cover religion, often religious based harassment is based on shared ancestry of ethnic characteristics which is covered. The US Department of Justice has jurisdiction over religion under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What are the federal civil rights laws ED and DOJ enforce?
A school that fails to respond appropriately to harassment of students based on a protected class may be violating one or more civil rights laws enforced by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, including: Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)