Cyberbullying Prevention Law – An ADL Model Statute
Overview - About the Model Law
Posted: May 20, 2009
With the rise in a unique and ubiquitous form of bullying -- cyberbullying -- schools and communities are seeking ways to create a safe environment. For years, governments, schools and courts have been wrestling with how to deal with the issue -- a school's duty to maintain a safe learning environment for students must be balanced with a student's right to privacy and free speech.
ADL has continued its efforts to respond effectively to this issue by developing curriculum and programming for teachers, students and the community on how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying, and by developing a model Cyberbullying Prevention Law for states to adopt and implement.
The ADL Model Cyberbullying Prevention Statute requires school districts to adopt an anti-bullying policy in their schools that is comprehensive, practical and effective. The policy gives schools the resources they need to combat and respond to bullying and cyberbullying.
A strong and comprehensive anti-bullying statute will:
• include a strong definition of bullying, which includes cyberbullying;
• address bullying motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other personal characteristics;
• include notice requirements for students and parents; • set out clear reporting procedures;
• require regular training for teachers and for students about how to recognize and respond to bullying and cyberbullying.
In 1981, ADL developed a model hate crimes bill and advocated for its passage in states nationwide. Today, 45 states and the District of Columbia have passed hate crime statutes, many based on ADL's model. We hope that ADL's model anti-bullying bill will similarly be a guidepost for legislators and advocates to create smart, comprehensive bullying prevention legislation, so that all our children are safe.