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In more recent times, and specific to educational policy, policy can be “conceived in terms of multilateral, national, state, or local directives that legislate institutional structures, proper codes of conduct, and academic standards for schools” (Levinson and Sutton, 2001: 5) It has been said that the public policy issues for cyber-bullying in particular involve tensions between the values of freedom of speech, the best interests of the child, and parental and school protective authority over the child.
Given that complexity of the problem, as well as conflicting values, the development of effective policy requires a collaborative effort involving all stakeholders – policymakers, school officials, parents and youth – and at all the levels of governance referenced above.
Since this type of bullying phenomenon is relatively recent, educators, academia and legal specialists are just now beginning to understand research and opine on this serious scholastic blight.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research was supported by funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Portions of this research were presented at the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education (“CAPSLE”) conference in Montreal, Quebec, April 30-May 2, 2006.