Computer Crime Research Center


Vallejo School Ban Would Target Cyber Bullies

Date: September 18, 2008

VALLEJO (BCN) ― The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education was set to consider a policy Wednesday that would ban students from using their cell phones for harmful purposes, including recording fights on school grounds for posting on YouTube.

The ban also would apply to cyber bullying, cyber threats, sending abusive, threatening or harassing text messages and using electronic devices to cheat on exams, district spokesman Jason Hodge said.

The policy would give school officials the tools to discipline students when they are caught using cell phones improperly, Hodge said.

Hodge said violators could face consequences including loss of school privileges such as the ability to participate in sports, proms, dances and other extra-curricular activities, and suspension from school for up to five days.

The district learned earlier this year that students were using cell phones and cameras to record and post fights on the Internet, Hodge said. There also were reports that students were using their phones to text threatening messages and to harass other students, Hodge said.

If the ban is approved, the district would be one of the first in the Bay Area to enact a ban on abusive cell phone use on campus, Hodge said. The resolution to approve the new policy requires a majority vote of the five-member board, and would take effect immediately.

"Our main concern is recording fights. It encourages kids to keep the fights going and to instigate them," Hodge said.
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