Cyberbullying and Restorative Justice

Cyberbullying Across the Globe, Editors Raul Navarvo, Santiago Yubero, Elisa Larranaga, Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016, ISBN 978-3-319-25550-7

University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2017-2

36 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2017 Last revised: 9 Feb 2017

See all articles by Susan Duncan

Susan Duncan

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: November 28, 2016

Abstract

Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that utilizes technological devices and has many of the same harmful effects as traditional bullying. Traditional approaches of schools and lawmakers in addressing cyberbullying have run into a myriad of difficulties. Anti-bullying laws often run into trouble on constitutional grounds. Likewise, school zero-tolerance policies tend to make the problem worse by failing to correct the behavior or leading to similar misbehavior in adulthood. This chapter introduces a new approach to curbing cyberbullying utilizing the basic principles of restorative justice. Restorative justice focuses on mending the broken relationship between the victim and offender. There are some limitations to restorative practices; they cannot be utilized where the person who caused the harm refuses to be accountable for his or her actions. However restorative practices tend to produce the added benefits of higher victim satisfaction, better education of the offender, as well as involvement of bystanders and supporters. The chapter provides examples of restorative techniques being used in schools and other settings which appear to make a positive contribution to addressing cyberbullying despite their implementation challenges. Overall, restorative practices offer a viable alternative to anti-bullying laws and zero-tolerance policies that minimize the negative symptoms of those approaches and maximize the emotional health and relationships of both the victim and offender.

Keywords: cyberbullying, restorative justice, restorative practices, anti-bullying laws, zero-tolerance policies

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I31, J10, J18, J19, M15

Suggested Citation

Duncan, Susan, Cyberbullying and Restorative Justice (November 28, 2016). Cyberbullying Across the Globe, Editors Raul Navarvo, Santiago Yubero, Elisa Larranaga, Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016, ISBN 978-3-319-25550-7; University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2017-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2876870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2876870

Susan Duncan (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
502-852-6373 (Phone)
502-852-0862 (Fax)

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