Law aiming to combat cyber bullying in schools

A new Illinois law allows school administrators access to your child’s social media passwords in an effort to combat cyber bullying.

A survey done by nobullying.com found that 52% of teens surveyed said they have been a victim of cyber bullying, and one-third of those teens report being threatened online.

An alarming 95% percent of those teens say they have known cyber bullying was going on in their school, but did nothing to stop it.

Local high school juniors Emma Webber and Carleigh Schimf are normally giggling behind their computer screens, but they know what happens online is not always fun and games.

They say cyber bullying is a problem at Murphysboro High School.

Webber and Schimf say the bullies they know are more comfortable spouting mean words behind a computer screen, than they are in person.

That does not keep the girls from “checking in”, though.

“When we get home from practices and school, first thing you do, check Twitter, check Instagram,” said Webber.

They are always connected, and now that they have handed over their social media passwords, so are their administrators.

“At first, everybody’s kinda like ‘Ooh, I don’t know about that,” said Webber.

Principal Tony Wilson says cyber fights often start online, but can turn physical.

He says he will adopt any policy that keeps his students safer.

“If there are any actions or behaviors that happen on social media that could impact a student’s school day or any educational opportunities they might have then we try to take immediate action and be as preventative as possible,” said Wilson.

Daryl Murphy says he is all for his son’s school having access to his social media accounts.

“It’s not something that they’re going to randomly look through people’s phones, it’s only going to be in a chaotic situation or a disruptive situation that they would want to see his phone,” said Murphy.

He thinks the new law will keep things a little more transparent online, and in the hallways.

Local 6 reached out to other Southern Illinois school districts who plan on holding administrative meetings to find the best way to adopt the new law.

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