Bill requires schools to ban cyberbullying


Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill last week that will require schools to prohibit bullying on school property, including cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is “sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices,” according to the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use Web site.

Many schools have anti-bullying policies, but with changes in technology, schools need to implement new policies, said Nicole Corcoran, press secretary for Sebelius.

“The dynamic of schools have changed. Children interact in ways that were unavailable a generation ago,” Sebelius said in a media release. “As more students stay after school to participate in activities or use the Internet to communicate with one another, it’s important that every child feels safe and secure.”

Sebelius signed House Bill 2758 on April 11, but Corcoran said the bill will not take effect immediately.

“Since the statute book is published in July, the law will be in effect for the upcoming school year,” Corcoran said.

Individual school policies will depend on each district, she said. Schools must implement policies to cover cyberbullying on school computers.

Seth Galitzer, system administrator for the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at K-State, said he thinks many schools will at least block Web sites like and on their school computers. He said they also will likely block instant messaging on the computers, if they’re not doing that already.

“That doesn’t solve the problem of the kids going home and writing on blogs, but the schools don’t have a lot of power on what the kids do at home,” Galitzer said. “Technically, that’s about the limits of what they can do as far as the IT staff.”

Galitzer said he has children in grade school in the Manhattan district, and they are learning about anti-bullying. He said he doesn’t know if they know about cyberbullying, but he said the school district is at least teaching students how to deal with bullies in general.