Why? Not just for the right reason–to support vulnerable students–but also to cover their own butts, because ‘after the fact’ actions, no matter how warm and supportive, are insufficient, inappropriate and almost certainly illegal.
The law is very much on the side of the victims, and school authorities ought to know that they are obligated under federal law to protect young people. I am not referring to anti-bullying legislation, which differs to state to state, but to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sometimes known as ‘That damned sports law.’ Title IX clearly prohibits sexual harassment, and, even when bullying is ostensibly directed against an individual’s race, ethnicity or religion, it almost invariably includes sexual references. Girls are called “sluts” and “hos,” boys are called “fags’ and other names. Sexual rumors and comments are frequent. And the above behavior violates the granddaddy of all laws in this area, Title IX.
Title IX also prohibits these behaviors outside the school, such as when personal computers are used, when the behavior is disruptive to learning or affects a student’s ability to partake of the opportunities for learning and in other opportunities provided by the school. In short, schools and school administrator, under Title IX, are obligated to stop sexual cyber-bullying. Moreover, they stand to lose federal funding if Educators Have to Step Up | The Merrow Report: