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Professor makes legal case for schools to challenge cyberbullies

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Raymond Powers
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Part two, published last November by the Akron Law Review, uses case law from around the country to suggest a new legal rule for when an anonymous cyberbully, preying on a public school victim, can be legally "unmasked" by a court.

The new standards are needed, Holden argues, because the 1969 Supreme Court ruling that currently applies, Tinker v. Des Moines, came years before the internet.

The problem refers to the dilemma faced by courts and schools when a student's online bullying speech contains "elements of parody cloaked in violence," Holden writes.

His argument for unmasking, presented in his Akron article, may be more controversial, but he still thinks it is important.

"Some very high percentage of really foul bullying online is anonymous," he said.

As such, his legal research and suggested solutions attempt to balance the First Amendment speech rights of kids with the duty of schools to keep students safe, which he knows can be a challenge.

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Raymond Powers
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