2Defined – Kentucky LawKRS Harassing Communications1. A person is guilty of Harassing Communications when, with the intent to intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:a) Communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telegraph, mail, or any other form of written communication in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose of legitimate communication.b) Makes a telephone call, whether or not communication ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; orc) Communicates, while enrolled as a student in a local school district, with or about another school student, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, the Internet, telegraph, mail, or any other form of electronic or written communication in a manner which a reasonable person under the circumstances should know would cause the other student to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or embarrassment and which serves no purpose of legitimate communication.2. Harassing Communications is a Class B Misdemeanor.
3Defined – Here’s Another When one student targets another on-line:Mean, vulgar or threateningForwarding a private communication to othersHumiliating text sent over a cell phoneWeb site mocking othersPosting embarrassing photos or videoImpersonating someone else to spread rumorsIntentionally excluding someone from an online groupPosting sensitive, private information about another personSource: https://kycss.org/cyberbullying.html
4Why is it important to know? In this recent study, 1 in 5 students reported being cyberbullied at least once before age 18.
5Why do Teens do it? Some reasons include: To gain a feeling of power over someone elseTo increase their own social statusTo get back at someone elseTo get a laugh or attention from peersTo relieve boredomHarrassing someone via technology allows the bully to hide from their victim’s pained reaction.This allows people do and say things using technology they would never do or say in person since they don’t have to face immediate feelings of guilt.
6Could You Be contributing to the Problem? Have you ever sent a scathing in the heat of the moment? Have you ever said something to someone online you would never say to their face? All of us have probably done it at some point, but be careful! These could be considered harassment. Take a look at this list: Stop Cyberbullying.org - Are You a Cyberbully? Have you ever done or experienced some of these things? Do you consider them forms of cyberbullying? Anything you might add or remove?
7How you can avoid being a Target Don’t give out your passwords to anyoneBe careful about posting personal information such as name, address and cell numbersDelete messages from people you don’t knowThink before posting embarrassing photos or videos of yourself that could be used against youWhen something doesn’t sound right, leave the chat roomAssume no digital communication is private
8What Should You Do if you have been targeted? 1. Do not respond – Log off the computerJust like in person, most bullies want to see you get upset. If you don’t give them what they want, most will move on for another target.2. If it continues – Send a clear message“Please do not contact me again.” Save their messages as proof if you can.3. Block themUnfriend them, Protect your Tweets, Flag them, Report them to the service provider or Game Admin, contact their phone provider
9What if it gets Worse?If the harassment involves increased levels of fear, intimidation and threats of physical harm it is then called cyberstalking.Tell an adult.Call the Police!Do not shut your computer down or log off until the officer sees the communications.If the harassment involves sexual solicitation or exploitation of a minor, you can also report it to the CyberTipline.