Cyber Bullying: Actions and Their Consequences

Alabama sophomore Harley Barber was recently expelled from the University after she posted multiple videos on her social media accounts in which she repeated offensive, racial slurs. The Student Conduct Handbook for the University of Alabama states that any person proved to have participated in instances of cyber bullying can be subject to any of the following: written warning, probation, loss of privileges, educational assignments related to the violation committed, fines, restitution, discretionary sanctions, no contact order, separation from residence halls, campus ban, University suspension or University expulsion.

“The actions of this student do not represent the larger student body or the values of our University, and she is no longer enrolled here,” stated Stuart R. Bell, President of the University of Alabama. He chose to respond to Ms. Barber’s actions with the highest degree of discipline sanctioned by the University.

Linda Kahangi, Executive Director of Alpha Phi International, also released a statement in regards to Barber’s standing with the sorority. She included in her statement that Barber is no longer a member of Alpha Phi.

Like the students at the University of Alabama, students of All Saints’ Episcopal School are also expected to uphold a respectful decorum at all times, including online. Cyber bullying is not tolerated by All Saints’ administration. The Modern Saint has decided to dig deeper into what the School expects of students. The Student-Parent Handbook (pgs. 40-46) outlines the course of action All Saints’ Episcopal School will take in order to address harassment cases within the community.

When Division Heads are faced with such claims they will take immediate action to resolve the situation. Mr. Worden, Upper School Division Head, says when he and the rest of the administration are faced with true claims of bullying or cyber bullying, he personally addresses the first offense.

“I use these lapses in judgment as learning tools to teach the offender about the consequences and harm his/her actions cause,” Mr. Worden explained. “If the offender’s actions continue, I would have no choice but to remove the student from School.” This sentiment aligns with the School’s policy outlined in the Student Handbook that states, “Such action may include discipline up to, and including, expulsion of the offending student.”

Mr. Worden has reported minimal cases of cyber bullying or harassment in the Upper School. “As a whole, the Upper School students have upheld a high level of respect and concern for their fellow classmates.”

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