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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cyberbullying and the First Amendment in Schools: Protected Speech or Punishable Act?
by Thornton, Donald, Jr., D.Ed., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2014, 154; 3622960
Abstract (Summary)

School administrators struggle with an emerging threat to school safety-cyberbullying. When does a school administrator have authority to punish a student for off-campus, online speech? When does a student cross the line from protected speech to punishable act? The Supreme Court of the United States has yet to decide such a case that would provide school administrators with a standard to utilize when faced with cyberbullying on campus. This dissertation will examine current research, case law, state statutes, and current cyberbullying frameworks put forth by Williams (2008), and King (2010), and Willard (2011) to provide guidance to school administrators on how to approach cyberbullying incidences. In addition, an interview with Assistant United States Attorney Luke Walker will be employed in an effort to bring to light how timely research, such as this dissertation, is needed for school administrators. A repeated concept stemming from this research study is the idea that while no Supreme Court standard currently exists, school administrators should not punish students for merely content alone, but make a strong connection to the student speech causing a substantial disruption to the learning environment. School administrators should also work to promote, not stifle, student speech as they create a safe learning environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roberts, Nathan M.
Commitee: Fegenbush, Buffy S., Fossey, William R., Lane, Kenneth E., Winters, Richard
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy
Keywords: Bullying, Cyberbullying, First amendment, Framework, Free speech
Publication Number: 3622960
ISBN: 978-1-303-95147-3
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