For the first time, the problem of cyber bullying is being put in the Brighton Area School District student handbook. Revisions to the handbook were discussed at the Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Cyber bullying is an increasing problem around the nation, due to the widespread use of social media and other technologies. Supt. Greg Gray tells WHMI that cyber bullying is an issue that needs to be addressed, with appropriate penalties for violations.

Under the draft revisions, cyber bullying is defined as “the use of information and communication technologies such as, but not limited to, email, cell phone, instant messaging, defamatory personal web sites, and defamatory online personal polling websites to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.” A violation will result in a warning, parent contact, a conference with the school principal, and/or up to a three-day suspension. Despite the potential damage of cyber bullying, it is alarmingly common among adolescents and teens.

According to Cyber bullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation: Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online. Over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet. Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs. The board is expected to approve the handbook revisions at the Nov. 13th meeting. (TT)