Starting January 2014, AB 256 will change the Educational Code and allow schools to discipline students for cyberbullying, even when it is done away from school.
The existing law prohibits a pupil from being suspended or expelled for cyberbullying unless the act is related to a school activity or school attendance occurring within a school.
This bill would instead, for purposes of pupil suspension or recommendation for expulsion from a school, define “electronic act” as the creation and transmission originated on or off the schoolsite, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager.
This will be an amazing and controversial law. Schools traditionally have only disciplined students for acts committed on school campus. This law will allow them to discipline for activity committed at home, even on the weekend. I spoke to one of my Assistant Principals and he sees this law generating a lot more work for him. Fair or not, this might be the one thing that will make an impression on these kids who are cyberbullying others. Saturday school and detention makes kids think twice.