Scholar: Jourdan Douglas
Major: Elementary Education
Faculty Mentors: Dr. George "Gus" Hill
Research Topic: The Authority of School Officials to Protect Students From Cyber-Bullying: Inconsistencies Among Constitutional Interpretation, Public Policy, and Case Law
Abstract: School officials have strict and clear obligations to protect students from harm in their education. An evolving harm is bullying. The threat of this harm is exacerbated by the increase in the use of technology. School officials are faced with cyber bullying as students are being encouraged to use digital media, technology, and the internet in their education. The purpose of this research is to conduct an investigation of scholarly research articles and data around the proposed questions: 1) How do Constitutional challenges influence school policy in regulating cyber-bullying and how can school officials apply policies to solve the problem of cyber-bullying without contributing to more problems? 2) Are there current national educational technology policy initiatives or state statutes that address cyber-bullying? Do these policy initiatives offer state and local education institutions with clear guidelines and models to implement policy in daily school actions? 3) To what extent does cyber-bullying case law confuse the authority of school officials to regulate cyber-bullying in schools? There is a clear and pressing need to have ethical and legal policy in schools to combat cyber bullying regardless of the lack of specifics in national educational technology policy initiatives and cyber-bullying case law. This research will help the consideration and development of ethical standards and codes of conduct in our schools in protecting students' rights to free speech and a safe learning environment.
Earned Baccalaureate Degree: spring 2013