Bill by Local Lawmaker Would Allow Suspension, Expulsion for Cyber-Bullying
If approved by the governor, Assembly Bill 256 would authorizes superintendents and school principals to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying, harassment by electronic means, on or off the school campus.
Legislation authored by a local state assemblymember may soon give schools authority to discipline students caught cyber-bullying or harassing others by electronic means-- on or off the campus.
According to the office of Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), who represents both Cerritos and Artesia, AB 256 authorizes superintendents and school principals to discipline students who engage in such activity.
"Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly and the Senate agreed that current law is silent on cyber-bullying, where offending students use computers, smartphones and social media to perpetuate harassing and threatening behavior," an announcement from Garcia's office stated, when the Senate approved the measure 37-0 on Sept. 6.
“By supporting this bill, the Legislature is making a clear statement that bullying in any form is unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form,” Garcia said.
Garcia said that current law surrounding bullying only allows for students to be suspended or expelled if the malicious activity happened on campus or during a school-sponsored event.
“AB 256 closes a large loophole in anti-bullying law to match the reality we live in, since these laws were written before the explosive growth of electronic devices and instant communication,” said Garcia. “As a teacher, I have seen the damage done to the physical and mental health of victims of bullying.”
The assembly bill made its way to the governor's desk Friday. It was first introduced in February.