In October 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier of Missouri committed suicide. Later an adult neighbor was charged with creating a fake Internet identity for the sole purpose of humiliating the girl, and, indirectly causing her death.

The case brought to national headlines a new type of bully – a cyberbully, someone who uses the computer, cell phone or other electronic device to threaten, embarass, humiliate or otherwise hurt someone else through e-mails, text messages or social networking.

Tonight, Reynolds school directors plan to vote on a bullying policy and disciplinary actions for students who violate it. That policy will include cyberbullying.

Although there have been no reports of bullying among Reynolds students, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association recommended the board adopt such a policy, John Lowry, board president, said Monday.

The policy defines bullying as an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act directed at another student that’s severe, persistent or pervasive. The policy includes cyberbullying through the use of electronic devices and computers.

The policy applies to school buildings and grounds; school vehicles; school bus stops and any school-related activity.

Students who violate the policy will be subject to: counseling; parental conference; loss of school privileges; transfer to another school building, classroom or bus; detention; suspension; expulsion; or referral to police.

Each year, school staff will review the policy with students and report any bullying incidents to the board. Bullying prevention, intervention or education programs could be implemented if needed.

Students will be encouraged to report any bullying to their principal or another school administrator.

The board meets at 7:30 p.m. in the high school conference room.

Recommended for you