LONDON - JULY 10: In this photo illustration a girl browses the social networking site Facebook on July 10, 2007 in London, England. Facebook has been rapidly catching up on MySpace as the premier social networking website and as of July 2007 was the secondmost visited such site on the World Wide Web. Started by 22 year old Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, the website is responsible for 1% of all internet traffic and is the sixth most visited site in the USA. (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chicago's Public Schools are modernizing tactics to hit the delete button on cyberbullying.
The Board of Education passed a new Student Code of Conduct Wednesday, which mandates a five- to 10-day suspension if any students "stalk, harass, bully or otherwise intimate others" using a cell phone or computer, the Sun-Times reports. The punishment could be upgraded to expulsion if deemed necessary.
The school must notify Chicago Police for the possibility of a criminal investigation.
CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond explained schools in the past tackled cyberbullying in different ways either using anti-bullying rules or avoiding the situations because of confusion of their role, but said the change came after it was clear that schools needed a system-wide solution.
The new code stretches beyond the schoolyard and class-time. Students face punishment if an incident happens off school grounds and on their own time.
"It can lead to violence within the school," Bond said. "We needed some clarity where the limits are."