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Topics Homepage> Schools should punish students for online cyberbullying

Schools should punish students for online cyberbullying

PRO (8 assertions)


schools- middle schools and high schools

Should punish- as should punish, not should monitor. This debate is about the idea of punishing, not monitoring. We’re debating about the idea of whether schools should punish students for online bullying, not whether schools should monitor their kids. And even if the con wants to bring monitoring into this debate, we’ll define “punish” as a school punishing the child. Nowhere in our def does it say that the school will monitor the kids anyway. A parent or someone else would monitor his or her child, but then when the school finds out from that person, and the school will only dole out the punishments. The school won’t monitor, the parents will. That makes sure that it stays within their jurisdiction while not making them do extra work.

Bullying- anything that causing emotional or mental trauma to a child and that a parent deems is harmful to their child and want it stopped…the bullying would have to have occurred on school property

1. Assertion: Online bullying can lead to serious mental trauma for the victim of it and needs to be stopped immediately

Reasoning: Online bullying can be just as harmful and even more vicious than physical bullying. Because of the power of the Internet, multiple people can join in at once to torment a kid, or a video or nasty message can be sent to hundreds of people in seconds that embarrasses and humiliates a kid. Online bullying is something that can scar kids for life, so we need to have a good enforcer to monitor this, and that would be the school, where all the kids essentially live for 1/3 of the day.

Evidence: Lately in the news, many teens have committed suicide over the past few weeks due to online bullying. One such case involved Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl from Ireland who had moved to the U.S. After 3 months of verbal harassment and bullying online, she committed suicide by hanging herself from her family’s staircase. There have been over 50 such cases of students younger than 16 who were bullied and committed suicide in the last 12 months. The Department of Education reports that 25 percent of American students say they were cyber bullied at least once a day. Is this really what we want? How could teenagers dying possibly be good, as my opponents will try to claim? We need to allow our schools to step up and intervene before the situation becomes too serious. They also have the jurisdiction to in over 40 states nationwide, states

2. Assertion: Schools are the best enforcer

Reasoning: Kids spend 1/3 of their day at school. School is where they learn right from wrong, and it’s where they are taught values that will aid them in life. If we don’t allow our schools to punish kids for online bullying, then nothing else will be able to enforce it as well as a school would. The government isn’t an option, parents aren’t also because most are too busy trying to make a living to constantly monitor their kids every second of their lives. But schools are paid to instruct kids to be good people. It only makes sense that we allow schools to enforce this.

Evidence: 61% of families in America have both parents working full-time There is no way parents can monitor their children’s online usage and make sure that everything’s all right. What about the government? It would cost tons of money that we just don’t have. Schools are the only sensible answer.

3. Assertion: Having schools punishing students for online bullying is not invasive of privacy

Reasoning: American law does dictate that one cannot invade others privacy. However, this is only without permission. If the student allows the school, as we defined it, to monitor his or her accounts to try to stop the bullying, then the school is not invading the student’s privacy. Also, it is our inalienable right to have the pursuit of happiness, which one cannot have unless you’re not bullied. And no, judge, it isn’t the freedom of speech to harass other students and call them bad names that they aren’t. That’s called slander, and that’s an illegal abuse of the freedom of speech.

Evidence: U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights

4. Assertion: Schools need to be able to stop bullying because the effects of online harassment spill over into the school day

Reasoning: Cyber bullying takes a heavy toll on the emotional as well as academic well being of students. This tormenting translates to worse academic performance and emotional trauma that can result in suicide once bad enough. If we don’t allow schools to punish kids for cyberbullying, then the school’s students will suffer and it will become an immediate problem to the school. It’s better to stop it before the consequences of it take place.

Evidence: The Department of Education conducted a study and found that kids who were bullied online moderately received 15% lower grades than those who weren’t bullied, and kids who were bullied heavily received 26% lower grades.

Assertions #5, 6, 7, 8

CON (7 assertions)

Rebuttal To: "online bullying can lead to serious mental trauma for the victim of it"

Assertion: Yes, we completely agree that online bullying should be stopped. However, we know that enforcing this does not fall within the jurisdiction of the school.

Reasoning: It needs to be stopped by parents and other authorities, who have more control over the child and would be better enforcers.

Evidence: A New York Times article in February 28, 2007 said that schools are often unhelpful to students seeking help, and that parents would be the best enforcers of stopping cyber bullying.

1. Assertion: It would be a large invasion of privacy to allow schools to monitor their student’s Internet activity

Reasoning: One of our first and most important laws in the U.S. is the right to privacy. By giving schools the right to monitor what their student’s do on the computer, we’re violating those student’s right to privacy. Allowing schools to constantly watch over what their students do out of school that has nothing to do with school would be a huge violation of the student’s privacy. It’s communism! If we let institutions like schools to barge into kid’s personal lives, then our children would begin to fear that they’re constantly watched and wouldn’t be able to have any freedom in their lives.

Evidence: Constitution, Bill of Rights. And for the fact that kid’s will think they’re constantly watched, a study conducted by Fox News Corp. found that if you told someone you were just monitoring what they typed on Word or what they did online, they tended to act suspiciously around a computer, visit fewer webpages, and take more time to access information or do something on the computer that didn’t even relate to the things that they were being monitored for.

2. Assertion: Schools can’t successfully monitor their student’s behavior and there will still be online bullying

Reasoning: There are thousands and thousands of kids in every school. Each is online about three hours a day, according to Brookings Institute. It may be possible to monitor these kids online on school territory, but there is no way to monitor the kids at home, as the pro defined it. So, this means that kids can and will still be cyberbullied at home, and as the pro defined it, the schools can’t monitor the cyberbullying of student out of school. This essentially means that, since most cyberbullying occurs out of school anyway, these kids will still be harassed and no progress will be made. When one then factors in the wasted time and money on this, schools should definitely not monitor students for online cyberbullying.

Evidence: According to a Fox News Corp. Article entitled “Cyberbullying: The Plan” over 90% of a kid’s time on the computer is spent at home in private, and of the thirteen kids this past year who committed suicide due to cyberbullying, over ¾ of it was done to the kid at home and out of school. There’s no way to monitor a child on their private, home computers without invading their privacy, so there’s no way to successfully, fully monitor what a child does or receives on the computer.

3. Assertion: It would be too hard to implement a system

Reasoning: This type of monitoring and regulatory system would cost an immense amount of money and time. Also, we would need to create a system of discipline. Most cyber bullying is done anonymously, so it would be immensely hard to track. Where will all this money and time come from? Our schools should focus on teaching and educating our future generation of workers, and leave values to the parents.

Evidence: Implementing such a system in every school in America would cost around $2.45 billion according to Brookings Institute. That’s over ¾ of our education budget! Implementing such a system would certainly take away from the curriculum of our schools.


4. Assertion: It would take parenting away from the parents of the kids

Reasoning: It’s the parent’s job to instill life values in their kids and teach them right from wrong. Parents are close to the child, and children trust their parents more than anyone. By letting schools do the parent’s jobs, the children won’t receive the same message and won’t respond positively to it. We should let parents dole out the punishments and let schools teach their children about math and subjects like that

Evidence: According to a study done by CNN, kids learn values quicker and better from their parents or a close relative than from someone outside of their family.

Assertions #5, 6, 7