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|The bullying epidemic has been present in schools across the nation for decades. However, incidents of bullying have become more frequent and fatal in recent years. To raise awareness and combat this issue, forty-seven states have passed anti-bullying legislation. AJMLS professor and former family law practitioner, Elizabeth Jaffe was recently called on by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to add insight to this growing problem in Georgia schools.An excerpt from Professor Jaffe’s interview is below.
But increased attention raises more unanswered questions. Elizabeth Jaffe of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School says one involves what happens when students’ free speech rights collide with other students’ right not to be bullied.
Jaffe notes that existing case law allows schools to limit students’ speech to protect the safe environment of the school.
“However, with the litigiousness of our society, I think we’re going to see more and more lawsuits about incidents that occur,” Jaffe says. “For me the question goes back to prevention.”
So the question becomes not just how to respond to and punish bullying when it happens, but how to prevent it from happening at all.
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