262 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37:2 2017]
victims of cyber bullying. Though such victims of cyber bullying are not the subject of sexually
explicit communications or true threats, they are victims of abuse. However, the legal system
cannot right all wrongs. Cyber bullying of the type discussed in this article cannot be criminalized
without compromising constitutional freedoms such as freedom of speech. Though the
prosecution could easily present evidence of the defendant’s misdeeds, the case against the
defendant would be dismissed. The defendant could be charged with cyber stalking, but those
charges would likely be dismissed under Relerford. The only other charge a defendant in such a
situation could face would be harassment through electronic communications. Those charges
would also likely be dismissed as an unconstitutional effort to infringe on the defendant’s free
With an understanding of the limitations legislation may have in combating cyber bullying,
society must look to mechanisms other than the courts to address this serious problem. Parents,
teachers and school administrators must address certain forms of cyber bullying, especially by
minors. Perhaps with education and a greater understanding of cyber bullying we will never lose
another teen to cyber bullying the way we have lost so many young lives.
Bolger v. Young’s Drug Products Corp., 103 S.Ct. 2875, (1983).
Cochran v. United States, 15 S.Ct. 628 (1895).
Cyber Bullying, CYBER BULLYING,
visited Jan 5, 2017).
Elonis v. U.S., 135 S.Ct. 2001 (2015).
Miller v. California, 93 S.Ct. 2607 at 24, 93
People v. Relerford, 2016 Ill.App. (1st) 13231.
Raul R. Calvoz, Bradley W. Davis, and Mark A. Gooden, Cyber Bullying and Free Speech:
Striking an Age-Appropriate Balance, 61 CLEV. ST. L. REV. 357 (2013) available at h