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Cyber-bullying in California

Cyber-bullying involves making use of communication technologies and information to enhance intentional, repeated and unfriendly behavior by a person or group of people who have the intention of harming others (Breguet 2007). Cyber-bulling has grown to become a major issue in California. It is especially serious with youth of school going age. Bullies achieve their objectives through e-mail, defamatory Web logs, multimedia messages, short text messages online polling sites and personal websites.

The high level of cyber-bullying among young people in California made the state to be one of the first to make a law to address the issue especially among schoolyard cyber-bullies. Since the year 2009, the school code of California State directed school authorities to expel or suspend students found involving themselves in pervasive acts including those aided by electronic means (Breguet 2007). Under that section there is Face book page content, instant messaging and You Tube among others. This provision was made to apply to students while in schools, over lunch hours and while going to or coming from school or any activity sponsored by the school.

In California, later legislation came with provisions for student protection. As more evolution is witnessed in the area of technology, law makers are struggling to cope with the new twists in matters of cyber-bullying. In spite of all the efforts of policing and curbing the vice, reports indicate the cyber-bullying is still on the rise in California (Peterson 2012). From one or two incidents a year three years ago, the problem has multiplied to one or two reported incidents every week. Some of the common cases include parents being angered about bad language on face book pages and messages sent by students threatening others in other schools. Studies by the Cyber- bullying Research Center show that 20% of all high school age and middle age students have once been victims of cyber bullying. Students tend to avoid school for fear of being teased, bullied and shunned by others (Repa 2013). This problem is even more acute among gay, transgender and lesbian children. Consequently, cyber-bullying has been observed to contribute to school dropout rates. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network estimates that almost nine in ten children studying in middle and high school go through harassment in their schools. The findings also reveal that two thirds of such children say that they do not feel safe in school, and almost a third avoided school for one day in the previous month because of abuse from their classmates. Amazingly, the drop out rate for these students is three times that at the national level. It has so far proved to be difficult and cumbersome to investigate cases of cyber-bullying. This is because the Web gives many cyber-bullies an anonymity that allows them to perform their evil acts without being discovered (Repa 2013).

In conclusion, cyber-bullying is a big problem in California and policies have been enacted to control it. However, only little success has been achieved so far.


Breguet, T. (2007). Cyberbullying. The Rosen Publishing Group.

Peterson, J.M (2012). How
to Beat Cyberbullying. The Rosen Publishing Group.

Repa, K.B. (2013). E-Cruelty: Cyberbullying in California. Daily Journal Corporation.