Should Schools Punish Cyberbullying?

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Cyberbullying is a huge problem for students. According to, “Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.” However, many schools refuse to punish cyberbullying because it happens off campus. This is a huge issue that schools need to address.

Students who get bullied online could later get bullied in school. According to, “Additionally, research shows that when students are cyberbullied, more often than not, they’re also being harassed at school. Online abuse, therefore, can indicate school-based bullying, which schools are required to respond to.” Schools will need to punish the cyberbully anyways, even if it originally was off campus, because it might lead the victim to also being bullied during school. Also, if schools deal with cyberbullying early on, they could save the victim from actually being bullied face to face.

Cyberbullying will only stop when the bullies realize there is a punishment for their actions. According to, “Our research shows that students who believe schools will punish them for cyberbullying are less likely to torment their classmates than those who don’t fear punishment. If educators clearly convey that students who engage in cyberbullying will face consequences at school, the behavior will likely decrease.” If there are no consequences for their actions, the bullies won’t see any reason to stop.

Almost every student with a phone has a social media account. According to, “Anti-cyberbullying activists argue it is a school’s responsibility to ensure a safe environment for all students. Social media is a huge part of student life and schools must be involved.” Social media is the perfect place for cyberbullying. Bullies could post rumors about their victims, or make rude comments on their victims’ posts. Schools would need to get involved, so the bullying does not get any worse.

Bullying negatively impacts the victim’s performance in school. According to, “We believe that schools should intervene as it can not only affect the student outside of school, but also in school. It can cause the student to be angry, tired, or sad with a bad wellbeing. It may affect a child’s learning ability, social life, and how they participate in class. All of these problems happen in school.” If cyberbullying is affecting how a student does in schools, then schools have even more reason to get involved. After all, students shouldn’t have to do poorly in school because of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying could even negatively impact the bully later on in life. According to “Many cyber bullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyber bullies may not realize the consequences for themselves of cyberbullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job.” Even if the bully changes, their actions will always be online for others to see. If schools catch a cyberbullier, they could warn them of the consequences for their actions.

Schools should punish every form of bullying, including cyberbullying, even if it happens off campus.

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