Cyberbullying and the role of the law in Australian schools: Views of senior officials

Hannah Young, Marilyn Campbell, Barbara Spears, Des Butler, Donna Cross, Phillip Slee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the opinions of influential, authoritative employees from the education and legal systems, regarding their perceptions of the role of the law and cyberbullying in Australian schools. Participants were asked whether they thought a specific law for cyberbullying should be introduced, what particular behaviours, if any, should be criminalised and who should be involved. Participants were located across three Australian States. Thematic analysis was used to identify eight main themes within the data, namely (1) uses of the law in general, (2) introduction of a law for cyberbullying, (3) benefits and difficulties of criminalising cyberbullying for young people, (4) conditions for a cyberbullying law for young people, (5) who should be involved in a cyberbullying law, (6) legal sanctions thought to be appropriate, (7) educational and legal solutions and (8) educational interventions for student cyberbullying. Implications include increasing the awareness of how existing legislative responses can be used as deterrents, working towards more effective cooperation of education and legal systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Australia
  • cyberbullying
  • Education
  • role of the law
  • schools
  • students


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