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Archive for the ‘bullying’ tag

Bullying and School Violence

October 12th, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Illinios juvenile crimes, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Bullying in schools is a serious issue that many schools across the country are dealing with and is an issue that is under scrutiny by the public right now. On the one hand, it is important for children to be able to go to school and feel safe, but on the other hand, there is a concern that some children are overly sensitive and that overprotecting children might be doing them more harm than good.

Every school in Illinois is required by law to have a bullying prevention policy in place so that children have a place to learn where they feel safe. Schools not only are launching their own initiatives, but there is also government funding available for schools that make efforts to combat school bullying and other acts of violence in schools.

Where Are Students Protected from Bullying?

Illinois has laws directed to preventing bullying in schools, codified as 105 ILCS 5/23.7, which protects students from being subjected to bullying while a student is:

  1. In class;
  2. In a school-sponsored or school-sanctioned activity, event or educational program;
  3. On the school bus or other school vehicle;
  4. Waiting at a school bus stop for the bus;
  5. On school property; and
  6. Using school computers, networks or other similar electronic equipment belonging to the school.

What Constitutes Bullying under the Law?

Under 105 ILCS 5/23.7(b), “bullying” means any severe or pervasive act or conduct, which can be physical or verbal in nature, that is directed towards another student that could reasonably produce anyone of the following effects:

  • The student is placed in a state of reasonable fear concerning harm to him or herself or his or her property;
  • The student’s physical or mental health is detrimentally affected;
  • The student’s academic performance suffers; or
  • The student’s ability to participate in school is affected.

Bullying may take the form of threats, harassment, intimidation, physical violence, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property and retaliatory-type actions. Bullying also includes cyber bullying, meaning anything that is written on a computer or electronic device or is communicated to another student through a computer or electronic device.

Accusations of Bullying

Your child might be facing allegations of school bullying by another student, or the school might be taking disciplinary action against your child for an alleged violation of the school’s bullying prevention policy. Not only could your child be facing disciplinary action from the school, such as suspension or expulsion, but if the allegations rise to the level of a criminal juvenile offense, your child could be facing serious criminal charges. This could be a huge injustice if the accusations against your child are false or inflated.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If your child gets in trouble at school for fighting or bullying, it is important that you take action immediately to preserve and protect your child’s rights. Please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to learn how we can be of assistance.



New App Designed to Combat Bullying

March 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am

combat online bullying, CombatHate App, cyberbullying, Simon Wiesenthal Center, empower adolescents, bullying, online bullying, combat bullying The issue of bullying and cyberbullying has increasingly become a hot topic of discussion among members of the public. And while technology has become so ingrained in our everyday lives, it also plays a huge part in making young people the victims of bullying. However, as reported recently by the Chicago Tribune, technology is now being employed to combat bullying as well.

CombatHate App

Chicago officials recently encouraged the use of a new app that could be used to combat online bullying. The app is called CombatHate, and is available for teens to install on their cell phones. It allows the user to take photos or write descriptions of hate speech they find online and send the information anonymously to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is an international Jewish human rights organization. The Center then takes the lead in reporting any information to law enforcement that could be the basis of an online crime. The app also enables patterns of hate that appear online to be tracked, whether the actions rise to the criminal level or not.

The Center’s Associate Dean praised the app, saying it was a way to empower adolescents who are exposed to this type of behavior online every day. Other proponents say the app is especially effective because it works with teens within the world of technology as a way to address the problem of online bullying. It is a means of hope for victims and witnesses to hate crimes.

CombatHate in Chicago

Although the app was introduced in other cities in the past, a news conference was held in Chicago specifically to push its use within the city. This is likely due in part to the use of another app, Yik Yak, which allows teenagers to anonymously post statements to other nearby users of the app. Chicago-area school leaders and educators warned of the use of the app, and said that some students have used it to threaten others. This caused many schools to block the app on their networks and schools also encouraged parents to uninstall the app from their child’s mobile device.

Other Features

CombatHate does more than just curb the incidence of cyberbullying. The app offers tips to victims on how to deal with bullying and get help, and also features recent examples of hate speech and other incidents that users can see within the app. It lists online sites and games which encourage hate, and suggests users avoid them. In addition, the app only encourages teens to use it in serious cases. Users are instructed to upload information only if they believe the incident rises to level of hate speech or terrorism.

Bullying is a serious issue faced by teens today. While not all bullying rises to the level of criminal behavior, it is important to understand your rights if you are accused of such conduct. If you or someone you know has been charged with an incident involving bullying, you should consult with an attorney in the Chicago area who is experienced in juvenile matters. Contact an Illinois juvenile crime attorney today and schedule a consultation to discuss your rights.


Cyberbullying Teachers Now Crime For Students

March 18th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

ChristineWe all have had a teacher, or two, who we just could not stand. Yes, we might have said a mean thing or two, but did to take it to the internet? Make fake accounts to humiliate those teachers? Spread awful rumors that could potentially harm their career and even harm their families?

North Carolina legislators have said students bullying educators has reached its limit. Harassing, intimidating, or tormenting teachers online has now become against the law. For example, posting pictures of teachers stating they are pedophiles, homosexuals, violent individuals. Also, setting up fake online accounts such as Twitter and posting things as if they were stating things is illegal as well. The law states that it is not allowed to create fake profiles for teachers; however, it is a crime to post real images or make any sort of statement online, true or not. If caught, students could spend up to one month in jail and pay up to $1,000 fee.

The ACLU of North Carolina says the law is too broad, making it too harsh for someone who just might make a dumb mistake. Being punished for speaking out on any government official restricts the First Amendment Right of freedom of speech making it according to some legal experts another way to criminalize speech.

Regardless, of the opinion of legal experts, no one deserves to be bullied, harassed or tormented. If you have been accused of bullying online you have rights as well. If you are in a situation where you are, please find a criminal lawyer who will be able to stand up for your rights and work for your freedom. A criminal defense attorney in Illinois will be able to assist you.



Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos

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