Stalking another person by using the telephone, Internet, or U.S. mail is a felony crime under the criminal law of the United States. This article discusses the federal anti-stalking law. For information about state anti-stalking laws, see Defending Against an Accusation of Stalking. What is Stalking?
The crime of harassment (which can include stalking, hate crimes, and cyberbullying) occurs when one person acts in a way designed to annoy, provoke, threaten, or otherwise cause another person emotional distress. State laws and some federal laws identify multiple ways in which harassment can be committed.
High schoolers texting photos of a half-dressed, drunken classmate, jealous teens ganging up on the new girl on Facebook—are these just samples of the age-old adolescent drama playing out on a new stage? Or, are they examples of a light-speed escalation of bullying? State legislatures are grappling with these questions.
Stalking is a serious crime that can be a felony or misdemeanor. All 50 states have criminal laws against stalking. The specific definition of the crime varies among jurisdictions but typically involves a pattern of following, watching, or monitoring another person with the intent to harass, frighten, intimidate, threaten, or cause the person emotional distress.
Question: My live-in boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago and I left the place we shared, but he stayed. Unfortunately, I stormed out in the heat of the moment, leaving behind a number of valuable personal items (of monetary and sentimental value).
Question: My daughter is in 8th grade at a public school in Miami. Lately, she has been the butt of some very mean verbal attacks and tweets by a group of popular girls who have her in their sights for some reason. I talked to a counselor at the school but she wasn’t much help. Does the law require the school to step in?
Question: My son, Jason, is a seventh-grader who started hanging out with a rowdy group this year. He and his buddies played a few pranks on another student and that kid reported them to the school, saying he was being bullied. The school overreacted and got the cops involved.
Question: I’m a junior at a public high school in Los Angeles. Our school has a policy against bullying and a bunch of rules that students, teachers, and the administration have to follow. My AP physics class was discussing a recent discovery about gravitational radiation from the Big Bang. One student
Question: I was dating a girl at my high school and she broke up with me. She told all her friends that I was too cheap to take her to the Miley Cyrus concert but she knew I just couldn’t afford it. The whole school knows about it now and I’m humiliated. So, I revenge tweeted that she is a sloppy
Question: My 16-year-old daughter was recently suspended from high school in Palo Alto after she Instagram’ed a photo of a female classmate with whom she has apparently been bickering for some time. My daughter claims the girl gave as good as she got (although she never posted photos of my daughter).