Restraining order against teen for cyberbullying
A judge in Aspen, Colorado has ordered a local teenager to have no contact with the alleged victim of her online bullying. The unidentified girl is facing three criminal charges. She is banned from talking about her victim on any social networking site including Facebook and Twitter.
Judge Gail Nichols also told the Aspen High School student “If you’re in the hall and you pass each other, just pass each other.” If she violates the court’s order, additional charges may be filed. The student is described as a great kid who just made a bad choice. She is due back in court on December 6, 2010.
The school district has taken a proactive approach to bullying in recent years. Law enforcement and school administrators have increased their outreach to students and parents about cyberbullying. Online safety and harassment education are just a few of the programs presented to students starting in fifth grade. In fact, the alleged victim used some of the training she received at school to limit the abuse including blocking and changing privacy settings.
Educating parents is vital so they know what to look for to find out if their child is being bullied or is doing the bullying. Aspen police officer Tina Schairer commented that “A lot of parents don’t know how to identify it because it’s so much different now. Everything is technology, it’s Facebook and it’s texting. In my day, it was just passing notes.”
Students need to realize they can be locked up for what they consider a simple act of teasing or verbal sparring. In the Cassidy Andel case in North Dakota, one teen said it best when she commented “you don’t know the frame of mind the other person is in.” Cassidy hung herself in November, 2010 following months bullying and cyberbullying.