Two Park Ridge middle school students, a 13- and 14-year-old, were recently charged with harassment and accused of allegedly cyberbullying a 13-year-old female classmate. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the two Emerson Middle School students were charged under a local ordinance last month and are expected to appear before the Park Ridge Peer Jury.
Police officials said the pair had allegedly created a page on Facebook that included derogatory and hateful statements about the 13-year-old victim. The two students then sent requests to "friend" the page to over 80 classmates. The victim's father contacted authorities once he learned about the site.
Cyberbullying has quickly increased in schools as social networking and media websites continue to grow more and more popular among teenagers and young adults. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can explain in detail the actions and penalties linked to such actions. Generally, forms of cyberbullying may include:
- Using websites to rate peers according to how they look (such as by who is the prettiest or ugliest);
- Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others; and
- Sending threatening text messages or emails.
Many cyberbullying cases are brought under state defamation laws, which protect an individual's reputation and good name against any false and deprecating communications. Under defamation law, injured parties may file a civil suit and sue the person or persons who made the defamatory statement about them.
If you or someone you know has been subject to cyberbullying, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer who can determine if any legal remedies may be available for your case. For general information on cyberbullying, visit the Related Resources links below.