Revealing the identity of cyberbullies by schools….


Following up from my last blog post, and after talking to a number of individuals working in various school districts, this is what we know:

1) FERPA allows schools who learn the identity of a cyberbully upon investigation of an incident that affects the climate or environment or values of the school to protect that identity and refuse to share it with a cyberbully victim (or their family).

2) Some states require schools to report behaviors in violation of state law just as they are required to report other criminal acts (e.g., drug use, weapons possession, sexual assault).  For example, here in Florida the scenario depicted in my last post could be classified as a violation of the following criminal law: “Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”  As such, the school would be obligated to report that to the police.

3) A cyberbullying victim (or their family) may therefore be able to learn the identity of a cyberbully by contacting law enforcement, who would not be bound by FERPA.

I hope this helps us a little.  If you have further insight into this issue, please let us know.


  1. We are debating whether cyber bullying should or should not be a criminal offense for a national high school debate topic.

    I was just wondering would the federal government be able to find the identity of anonymous users? Say for example, a teen uses a proxy server to bully someone else. This would mean the identity of the teen would be untraceable (not even a location or computer). So, if cyber bullying were to be criminalized, wouldn't cyberbullies turn to anonymous methods of harrasing victims??? and if the federal government can't find or trace their identity, then wouldnt this resolution be inefficient???

  2. Everything online, believe it or not, is traced by federal officials. At anytime an individual may draw attention to themselves for committing harassment, slander, stalking, or criminal mischief by cyber bullying or cyber harassment of any nature and more than likely will be soon tracked and investigated. None of which are any form of freedominal speech or public awareness and will be treated as a criminal act to deface, harass or slander a person or persons.

  3. I have a teenage son who a couple of weeks ago had a problem with one of his friends who knew his password and was putting into his facebook site some slanderous and degragatory comments to others my son knew, but was using his own site to do this as if it were him sending these messages.I put a stop to this. After a few weeks now I find a very derogatory message on my son's facebook that is intentionally slandering and defacive,harrassment sent via thru a moblie phone degrading my son's personallity so this is another incident of someone that is aware again of my son's password .Can this call be traced as to who is doing this act of degradation of my son's person?Can this incident be investigated since my son is under 16yrs old.please cotact me back at either my facebook site under the same name David preciado from Phoenix Az.

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