Maryville to Update Bullying Campaign?

You’ve heard us both talk about school bullying and how much it makes us sick and what can schools and parents do to try to stop bullying.

And we applaud any school district that has tough polices on any kid that bullies.

But can those policies go too far?


This week Maryville schools are considering updating their

anti-bullying policy to reflect the changes last year in the state law.


That state law went unto effect last June and was a well-intentioned effort to crack down on internet harassment and stiffen penalties for those who would use the internet as a venue to bully and stalk others in a way that would largely be seen as illegal in the offline world. This bill has raised a lot of questions on whether this infringes on freedom of speech or freedom of the press.

So now the Maryville City School board wants to revise its anti-bullying policy to reflect changes in state law.

The measure passed on first reading Tuesday updates the policy to include cyber bullying — the use of telephone, Internet or email intimidation.

Director of Schools Stephanie Thompson said the change expands the policy beyond school property and enforcing it will require parents' involvement.

Bullying is defined as an act that interferes with students' educational benefits, opportunities or performance. It's also an act that creates a hostile environment for students.

The school board will vote on the second and final reading in February.