Student Protection Lawyer Fights for Victims of Cyberbullying in Southern New Jersey
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you – at least that’s what today’s adults grew up being told when bullies went on the attack at school. These days, words hurt. They hurt very badly. In fact, oftentimes they lead to serious violence and even self-injury, including suicide.
If your child has been the victim of cyberbullying, intentionally harassing electronic communication by text, email or social media channels, you must take the situation extremely seriously. Your child’s emotional and physical health may be at stake. Contact a student protection lawyer who knows HIB laws and will fight for justice for your child in school districts throughout Camden County. Call Howard Mendelson at the Voorhees, NJ law firm of Davis & Mendelson right away for a consultation.
How Serious is Cyberbullying in New Jersey Schools?
Today’s kids are under attack 24/7 by cyberbullies who intimidate and harass others while hiding behind technology. New Jersey cyberbullying laws as well as all HIB (Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying Laws) are very stringent; breaking HIB laws may result in serious consequences for the bullies.
Cyberbullying is electronic communication intended to annoy, alarm or cause fear in the victim. Activities include:
- Threatening to hurt the victim or their property
- Sending materials with the intention of harming the victim
- Using social media or other electronic means to place the victim in fear of their own emotional or physical safety
Despite the myth that girls may be known for “being mean,” studies say boys and girls report cyberbullying at the same levels. NoBullying.com, a respected website dedicated to various HIB issues, produced a special 2015 report, “The Complicated Web of Teens Lives,” based on data from a comprehensive 2013 study of over 10,000 young people. The statistics are harrowing.
- In every 10 kids, seven are victims of cyberbullying
- More than 35 percent of young people say they feel cyberbullied on a “highly frequent basis”
- In fact, 20 percent of those kids report they have been experiencing “extreme cyberbullying” every day
- Facebook is the new schoolyard for cyberbullies; kids say they feel twice as likely to be cyberbullied on that social media site than on any other network. More than half the young people surveyed admitted to being bullied on FB.
And, now, for the most upsetting piece of information of all: the NoBullying.com report says 70 percent of people surveyed reported that cyberbullying has had “catastrophic effects” on their social lives and self-esteem.
New Jersey Laws Regarding Cyberbullying: Know Your Rights
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act was adopted in New Jersey in 2011. The Act sets forth very specific guidelines for the way school districts must deal with HIB reports (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying). Guidelines cover reporting, investigating, documenting and punishing HIB acts.
In some cases, cyberbullying will be handled in schools. Other times, the case may involve police and criminal court. Sometimes, depending on the exact nature of the crime, a student found guilty of cyberbullying will face consequences at school and in the judicial system.
Someone convicted of cyber harassment, a fourth degree crime, could be forced to pay up to a 10,000 fine and spend 18 months in jail – or both. If the bully is 21 or older at the time of the attack, but impersonated a minor to carry out the cyberbullying may face $15,000 in fines and between three and five years in jail, or both.
It’s imperative that you fight for your child’s rights. Hire an experienced lawyer who will help your family send a message: cyberbullying won’t be tolerated and it will cost you money and maybe your freedom.
Talk to a Compassionate Camden County, NJ Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Child’s Rights in Voorhees, Medford, Cherry Hill and the Surrounding Communities
One of the biggest problems with cyberbullying is that it’s never done in a vacuum. Every post is visible to thousands of other people who, unfortunately, may be quick to jump on the bandwagon. An embarrassing photo, for example, can make it’s way around a community faster through texting, liking and sharing online than you can count to 10.
Further, electronic bullying never goes away. You can delete a text or even a post but the Internet is forever. This is why it’s critical to hire a lawyer to protect your child’s rights when they are the victim of cyberbullying. Howard Mendelson is passionate about protecting young people in Camden County and throughout South Jersey. He will conduct investigations and work tirelessly to hold cyberbullies responsible for their behavior. Call today for a consultation with Mr. Mendelson. He will take the time to listen to what is going on and will work with your family, and the schools, to protect your child every step of the way.