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."