Posted: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 3:43pm Updated: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 3:47pm

Under Indiana law, it’s a crime to send an obscene message or threaten anyone through any form of communication. Apart from criminal punishment, Indiana requires schools to adopt bullying prevention programs to prevent and discipline student on student bullying and cyberbullying via IC 20-33-8-13.5.

Cyberbullying as a crime:
Sending obscene or threatening messages is a crime under Indiana law.  The degree of the crime depends on the circumstances

Harassment by Obscene Message

Sec. 2.
(a) A person who, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person but with no intent of legitimate communication:
(1) makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues;
(2) communicates with a person by telegraph, mail, or other form of written communication;
(3) transmits an obscene message, or indecent or profane words, on a Citizens Radio Service channel; or
(4) uses a computer network (as defined in IC 35-43-2-3(a)) or other form of electronic communication to:
  (A) communicate with a person; or
  (B) transmit an obscene message or indecent or profane words to a person;
commits harassment, a Class B misdemeanor.
(b) A message is obscene if:
(1) the average person, applying contemporary community standards, finds that the dominant theme of the message, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex;
(2) the message refers to sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and
(3) the message, taken as a whole, lacks serious artistic, literary, political, or scientific value.

Harassment: Stalking

Sec. 5.
(a) A person who stalks another person commits stalking, a Level 6 felony.
(b) The offense is a Level 5 felony if at least one (1) of the following applies:

(1) A person:
 (A) stalks a victim; and
 (B) makes an explicit or an implicit threat with the intent to place the victim in reasonable fear of:
  (i) sexual battery (as defined in IC 35-42-4-8);
  (ii) serious bodily injury; or
  (iii) death.

Schools

Every school in Indiana is required to institute and enforce rules prohibiting bullying IC 20-33-8-13.5. These are to include intervention, parental involvement, and education for students and staff. The school must also provide an anonymous reporting tool.

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