WUFT News

Who’s Responsible For Stopping Cyber-bullying?

By on October 20th, 2013

Two Florida girls, one 12 and the other 14, face felony aggravated stalking charges in the wake of Rebecca Sedwick’s suicide last month in Polk County.

“If I found out my kid was bullying somebody, we would have a major sit down as a family, there would be consequences,” said Lindsey Barry, a Gainesville mother.

While Florida’s new cyber-bullying law was in place at the time of the tragedy, it did not seem to make a difference in this case.

“We have some jurisdiction, but not very much quite frankly because again we have limited jurisdiction over what students are doing at home,” said Public Information Officer for Alachua County Public Schools Jackie Johnson.

Kids used to spend most of their time on the playground, now they are spending more and more time on Facebook which is becoming a platform for bullying.
Sedwick had been the target of relentless bullying at her school and over the internet.

A Facebook posting this past weekend — what sounds like a cold-hearted admission — prompted this week’s arrest.

“Particularly here in the state of Florida judges have discretion and so if a person commits an offense if they plead guilty or no contest or they’re found guilty for the offense and they show a lack of remorse that is without a doubt going to impact the decisions of any sitting judge,” said Gainesville criminal defense attorney Thomas Edwards.

The Florida cyberbullying law intended to give schools more authority to investigate online bullying that happens off campus but that only goes so far.

“That seems to be where things sort of fell through in this particular instance. We’ve got to know. If the students will report it to us we guarantee that we will take the proper action,” said Wayne Blanton of the Florida School Boards Association.

Lawyer Thomas Edwards said there is already too much responsibility put on schools.

Law enforcement could be brought in earlier, he said, but in the end it comes down to parents and how they handle their kids at home.


This entry was posted in Education. Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments