A statewide policy on cyberbullying goes into effect this week.
The regulation lead by Attorney General Beau Biden and Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, streamlines the way schools handle cyberbullying incidents.
While many schools already have bullying measures in place, cyberbullying such as harassment on social media sites or through text messaging, has become a growing trend among students.
Both Biden and Denn did extensive research on cyber bullying over the past year, meeting with thousands of students and hundreds of educators across the state to better understand the needs for a cyberbulling policy.
They found that nationally, over one million children are bullied online daily and many incidents don’t take place on school grounds and often occur between students off campus.
Like bullying, cyberbullying affects performance in the classroom by making the victim feel isolated and afraid to participate in classroom actives.
Last year, the state approved Senate Bill 193 to develop the cyberbullying policy. It also allowed the attorney general’s office to defend schools that face a legal challenge after implementing a new cyberbullying policy.
The official policy defines cyberbullying and clarifies that it does not need to happen on schools grounds. It also directs schools to handle cyberbullying in the same way they would handle a bullying case.
Schools will have 90 days to adopt the policy.