By George Bao Aug. 24, 2016
SACRAMENTO – California state legislature Wednesday approved a legislation to combat cyber sexual bullying at school.
AB 2536, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), which addresses the issue of cyber sexual bullying, is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
The bill requires the California Department of Education to post information about the issue on the California Healthy Kids Resource Center website, and clarifies that sexual bullying is a part of cyberbullying.
“The act of sexting, which some view as a normal adolescent activity, exposes teens to bullying or harassment when their intimate images are taken without their knowledge or disseminated without their consent,” said Assemblymember Chau.
“This type of bullying has unfortunately resulted in some teenagers committing suicide, and has left schools at a loss on how to address the complex challenges it presents in providing a safe environment for learning.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a recent survey found that 20% of teenage boys and girls have sent a sext message.
Sending sexually explicit photographs, videos or messages via cell phone or instant messenger has real dangers and consequences, because it is nearly impossible to control the flow of digital information once it leaves a person’s mobile device. With the click of a button, an image can be sent out to hundreds of people.
AB 2536 will clarify for administrators that cyber sexual bullying is a violation of school policy.
It also looks to the California Healthy Kids Resource Center, which maintains a comprehensive collection of reviewed education materials for use by teachers, administrators, and other professionals, as a tool to assist in addressing this issue.
“AB 2536 is intended to educate students on the potential consequences that come with cyber sexual bullying, in an effort to deter this type of behavior,” concluded Assemblymember Chau.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, in 2015, one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year in the United States, and 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying.