How much power should schools have in policing cyber bullying?

How much power should schools have in policing cyber bullying?

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — She isn’t calling it a solution, but a step in the right direction.
 
Bell Gardens Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia is the author of AB256, a new law that makes cyber bullying part of schools’ jurisdiction.
 
"Parents have come to the school asking for help, saying, 'Look, these are the messages we're getting, this is what's going on,' and the school then says, ‘I can't do anything about it. We don't have any jurisdiction,” Garcia said.
 
Before AB256 passed, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement opposing it, citing concerns it violates students' free speech
 
"Under this bill, speech - and only speech - can be punished even when it originates off campus. The bill's approach turns our constitutional protections for speech on their head," the ACLU wrote in a statement.
 
Bakersfield attorney Kyle Humphrey doesn't necessarily agree with that view, but acknowledges the law does open new possibilities.
 
"Their concern is, 'Have we really opened up Pandora’s box here?'" said Humphrey. “There's a difference between doing something funny and stupid, and doing something malicious. And that's the fine line I think the school districts are going to have to walk."
 
But, some school administrators argue when it comes to policing cyber bullying, they're already walking a fine line.
 
"What is a violation of freedom of speech? What is too much freedom of speech? I can't draw that line," said John Teves, spokesman for the Kern High School District.
 
It’s a line that so far hasn't been drawn in this law, and something Garcia acknowledges.
 
But, she's the first to admit, it's not enough without involved parents.
 
“At the end of the day, it doesn't matter the laws that we write or what schools do, it's really parents that have the right and authority to get involved in their kids’ lives," Garcia said.