Preventing Bullying

Do anti-harassment laws violate students' rights?


Massachusetts high school student Phoebe Prince hanged herself after being bullied, and six classmates were charged in her death. Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumped to his death after two classmates allegedly used a webcam to secretly watch him during a gay dorm-room encounter, and the two were charged with invasion of privacy. Nearly half of high school students say they have been bullied in ways that seriously upset them, and researchers have found that bullying victims are more likely to try suicide than non-victims. States have been stepping up to the problem, with some 44 laws on the books, including some that allow school officials to take action against off-campus cyberbullying that causes disruption at school. But critics say some laws violate students' free-speech rights. ...

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