In the modern world, advanced technology adds convenience and support to daily life. However, certain issues, such as online correspondence, can also spark problems between people, especially if one person feels that another person is bullying. The term “cyberbullying” refers to using electronic communication devices to bully someone. While many teenagers believe such behavior is harmless, it can lead to criminal charges.
Someone is bullying your child when they believe that another person is targeting them with harassment. If the behavior in question would be bullying by an average person of sound mind, it fits the definition. However, what if your child is the one accused of cyberbullying? The more you, as a parent, understand ahead of time about this topic, the better able to provide the support you might be if your child gets into trouble with the law.
Cyberbullying can have disastrous effects on both sides of the issue
Many teens have suffered a decline in academic performance or have experienced emotional and mental health trauma because of cyberbullying. In North Carolina, if your son or daughter is under 18 and convicted of cyberbullying, they would incur penalties for a misdemeanor crime.
Cyberbullying does not just occur on social media, although this is a common venue for such incidents. Your teen might also face legal problems because of emails sent to a particular person, text messages, or other electronic forms of communication.
Schools have enforceable policies against bullying
You may have received a phone call from a school guidance counselor, teacher or principal stating that your child has allegedly been bullying another student. You may have already attended meetings with school administrators, but the problem escalated, and your child has been arrested and charged with a crime. This can be a stressful and frightening experience for any family. It is best to try to remain calm and handle one issue at a time.
If that’s the case, it’s understandable that you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to say or do to resolve the situation and provide support for your teen as they navigate the criminal justice system. There may be family support groups in your community to assist families who are facing such issues in their homes. You will also want to make sure that you understand the defense options available to your child and all possible outcomes that may result from criminal proceedings.