By KAITY ALBERT and RUDI JOSEPH, staff writers
Galena students will be protected by a new cyber bullying law that is now in the hands of the Governor of Alaska.
Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples would be: mean text messages, posting on social networking sites, embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles according to stopbullying.gov.
On April 3, Sen. Kevin Meyer passed the Senate Bill 128 19-0. The sponsor statement for SB128 says that any harassment of a person under 18 years of age by electronic communication is a class B misdemeanor.
For Galena students, cyber bullying is “treated the same way we treat bullying,” says Jana Rider, a counselor at Galena Interior Learning Academy.
“Similar to any kind of bullying, it beats down the person’s self-esteem and can affect every part of their life,” said Ms. Rider. She then went on to say more about how cyber bullying is hard to walk away from because more people get involved, compared to in-person bullying, where you can walk away from the person.
Kids who are cyber bullied are most likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school, experience in-person bullying, be unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems, according to the website stopbullying.gov.
Galena Interior Learning Academy handles bullying and cyber bullying by their code of conduct. The consequences may vary on whether or not you are a city school student or a boarding school student.
Because bullying is a major infraction in the code of conduct, the consequences get more intense the more you get in trouble for it. For GILA students, the first offense is three to four days of floor restriction; the second offense is five days of floor; and the third offense is five days of out-of-school suspension.
For a student that is not living at the boarding school, the number of days that you get OSS increases. The first offense is one day of OSS; the second offense is three days of OSS; and the third offense is three to 10 days of OSS. These consequences are not just for bullying, it is many other major infractions as well.