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ERIC Number: EJ1135089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Cyberbullying in South African and American Schools: A Legal Comparative Study
Smit, D. M.
South African Journal of Education, v35 n2 Article 1076 May 2015
Bullying conjures up visions of the traditional schoolyard bully and the subordinate victim. However, bullying is no longer limited to in-person encounter, having come to include cyberbullying, which takes place indirectly over electronic media. In this electronic age, cyber platforms proliferate at an astonishing rate, all attracting the youth in large number, and posing the risk that they may become subject to cyberbullying. Far from being limited to those individual learners being cyberbullied, the effects of this phenomenon extend to the learner collective, the school climate, and also the entire school system, management and education, thus requiring an urgent response. This article first provides a general overview of cyberbullying and its impact on learners, schools and education. This is done through a comparative lens, studying the extent of the phenomenon in both the United States and South Africa. The focus then shifts to the existing legislative frameworks within which the phenomenon is tackled in these respective jurisdictions, particularly the tricky balancing act required between learners' constitutional right to free speech and expression, and the protection of vulnerable learners' right to equality, dignity and privacy. The article concludes by proposing certain possible solutions to the problem.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Bullying, Computer Mediated Communication, Social Media, Mass Media Effects, Comparative Education, Comparative Analysis, Information Policy, Incidence, Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Legislation, Civil Rights, Change Strategies, Child Safety
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site: http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/index.php/saje/index
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa; United States