COMIC: Is Bullying Legal?
Panel 1: A distressed round character stands surrounded by three others who are looking at the character menacingly. One is pointing, another is jeering, and a third looks gleefully on with a cellphone in tow. Above the distressed character is a thought bubble that says “Is bullying illegal? What about cyberbullying?"
Panel 2: A big rectangular, anthropomorphized document with the words “LAW” and drawings of states stands defiantly in the middle of the panel. On either side are two round characters, each holding a cellphone, looking at the law character with concern and discomfort. The text says: “We learn as kids that bullying is bad, but what is the law around bullying? Well, what is considered bullying depends on your state’s laws.”
Panel 3: A menacing round character stands in a defiant pose with lightning strike imagery coming out of its mouth and piercing a distressed character. The distressed character is crying and clutching its arm. They are both standing in front of a school. The text says: “It could be bullying if one student harms another on school property or at a school event.”
Panel 4: In a classroom, one character gleefully is towing a backpack to another. The backpack is seen flying through the air over a distressed character who is exclaiming “my bag!” and reaching for the bag. The text says: “It can also be bullying if one student creates an intimidating learning environment, disrupts another student’s education or rights on school property or at a school event.”
Panel 5: A distressed character is touching their face in shock and concern while looking at text messages on a cellphone. The texts say “CU @ School Watch Out” and the lines on the page indicate they are coming from a menacing-looking character on the edge of the panel. The text says: “What about bullying online? Cyberbullying is when any of this happens using an electronic device, like a phone or computer (including on social media)."
Panel 6: A sad character sits on the front stoop of a very simple house holding a cellphone. The character says, “This scares me TOO much to go to school tomorrow!” The cell lines coming from the cellphone trace back to a laughing character, who is seen standing outside of another house with a cellphone. Both houses have the words “HOME” on them. The text says: “Even if the action happens outside of school, it can still be cyberbullying that is punishable by the school if it interferes with the victim’s education or causes disruption to the school.”
Panel 7: A school building, anthropomorphized with legs and arms, holds a document entitled “code of conduct” and points to it while standing in front of a very ashamed-looking character. The text says: “What are the consequences? If the bullying does not involve criminal acts, it’s most likely a violation of the state education law relating to student codes of conduct. Punishment typically includes disciplinary action, which is determined by the school.”
Panel 8: A character stands, looking ashamed, in front of a judge holding a gavel. The judge is saying “ your bullying violated the law.” The text says: “But bullying may be a misdemeanor if it includes acts like harassment or threats, assault, battery, or hazing. And if the action is especially serious (aggravating factors exist), these acts could be felonies.”
Panel 9: A somewhat concerned character sits with legs splayed on a bed with a laptop on their lap. The text says: “For more information, visit FindLaw.com.”
- Wondering if You're a Bully? (FindLaw on TikTok)
- Find an Education Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Attorney Directory)
- Is Bullying Legal? What About Cyberbullying? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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