Technological advancements have increased the opportunities for students of all ages to be successful. Unfortunately, the same advancements have given some pre-teen and teenagers an arena to further facilitate their bullying and abusive tactics around the clock.
Cyberbullying has become more commonplace in Oklahoma and throughout the United States, as it affects many students and young adults. Some reports claim that “more than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.”
Fry & Elder Oklahoma cyberbullying attorney Katie Egan believes cyberbullying presents a real problem for many of today’s youths, particularly those enrolled in middle school, high school and college.
The accomplished trial attorney, who is licensed to practice in Connecticut and New York, in addition to Oklahoma, wishes to provide the following insight into Oklahoma cyberbullying tactics, their effects and what you can do to protect yourself or your child from cyberbullying.
Understanding Oklahoma Cyberbullying
Unlike physical, face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying does not end once the initial encounter is over.
Because cyberbullying occurs through digital technology mediums like email, text messaging and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, cyberbullying incidents frequently operate on 24-hour per day cycle, making it all the more difficult for the victim to escape from the acts of intimidation, harassment and embarrassment.
Cyberbullying becomes even more difficult to monitor and trace because the attacker can easily hide behind a keyboard anonymously and post the offensive messages to a wide audience. Once those messages and posts are sent they are often difficult to delete.
The Potential Effects of Cyberbullying
The effects of cyberbullying can have very serious consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. These could include any of the following.
- Drug and alcohol use
- Health problems
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Those who instigate the cyberbullying attacks may not initially realize the repercussion of their actions, but they can lead to a host of problems down the road which could include losing employment and education opportunities and potentially facing criminal charges.
If a cyberbullying incident was sexual in nature – such as sexting or sending and posting sexual pictures – the offender could be registered as a sex offender.
Oklahoma Cyberbullying Laws in Place
Oklahoma HB 1661 was signed into law in 2013. Known as the School Safety and Bullying Prevention Act, the bill addresses bullying in general, but it gives schools greater authority to specifically address cyberbullying acts.
As stated in a 2017 TeenSafe.com article,
“With the new law, schools can use law enforcement to intervene. It allows schools to maintain internal records of cyberbullying for police investigation. It ultimately relieves Oklahoma schools from having to address it themselves when their hands are often tied from any meaningful ramification. It moves the punishment from a school consequence to legal matter.”
Why the Need for an Experienced Oklahoma Cyberbullying Attorney?
Though the passing of Oklahoma HB 1661 was a move in the right direction for Oklahoma schools, students and educators, cyberbullying incidents often feature many gray and murky areas, making it all the more important to contact an experienced Oklahoma cyberbullying attorney.
Whether you have been a victim of cyberbullying or are being accused of committing cyberbullying attack, an experienced Oklahoma cyberbullying attorney will keep your best interests in mind and help you efficiently navigate through the process to provide you with the best outcome.
Fry & Elder Oklahoma cyberbullying attorney Katie Egan is knowledgeable and well-versed in the many different forms of bullying – physical and cyberbullying – which take place in out of school.
Egan is a member of a firm which has been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms List every year since 2014, and a team of trial lawyers who are some of the most distinguished in the state and include:
- A 2018 Best Lawyers® Selection
- One of only 19 attorneys in the state to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year for Family Law in Oklahoma 2016
- Four attorneys recognized by Super Lawyers®
- Three attorneys AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- A Cherokee Nation District Court Judge
- The 2018 Fern Holland Award Winner
- A 2017 OBA Earl Sneed Award Recipient
- The 2018 Tulsa County Bar Association Family Law Section Chair
- A 2017 Significant Sig Award Winner
If you feel your child or someone close to you is a victim of a cyberbullying attach or is being falsely accused of cyberbullying, we encourage you to contact Fry & Elder Tulsa today to set up a personal consultation with an experienced Oklahoma cyberbullying attorney.