Bullying

Categories :: Youth Law > Schooling

"Bullying" occurs when you are repeatedly harassed or intimidated by another student. Bullying includes threats and nasty remarks as well as physical actions like pushing or hitting, written conduct, and damaging your property. It is considered bullying if the other student's words or actions prevent you from doing well in school or enjoying after-school activities, or if the conduct substantially interferes with your physical or psychological well-being. Bullying also includes electronic communication, such as that transmitted by a landline telephone, cell phone, computer, or pager. This is often referred to as "cyberbullying." Bullying is conduct that occurs on school property, at a school activity or event, or on a school bus. Conduct that occurs in other places is also considered to be bullying if it substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

If you are being bullied, you should:

  • Tell a parent, a teacher, a counselor or someone who can help
  • Try not to show anger or fear
  • Calmly tell the student to stop
  • Walk away
  • Try to avoid situations where bullying is likely to happen

How can you help someone else who is being bullied?

  • If you feel safe, tell the bully to stop
  • Don't encourage the bullying
  • Be a friend to the student being bullied
  • Tell a parent, a teacher, a counselor or someone who can help
  • Encourage the student being bullied to tell an adult

Can I fight back if someone bullies me?

If you hit back, you
could be guilty of an assault on the bully. Even though in court you
could say it was self-defense, that's something you would have to
discuss with a lawyer.

The bully could be guilty of an assault
on you, if he or she hits you or you're afraid that he or she may be
ready to hit you. You can always walk away from people who want to hurt
you.

Bottom line: if you're being bullied, tell your parents, school officials, or the police.

Electronic Harrassment of a Minor

Effective October 1, 2013, "Grace's Law" amends MD Code Criminal Law §3-805.

"Grace's Law" prohibits a person from using an “interactive computer service” to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent (1) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor or (2) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. An “interactive computer service” means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including a system that provides access to the Internet and cellular phones. A violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a $500 maximum fine.

The 90 Day Report: A Review of the 2013 Legislative Session

Read the Law: MD Code Criminal Law §3-805

 

Is this legal advice?

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