Cyberbullying and Restorative Justice

  • Susan Hanley DuncanEmail author


Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that utilizes technological devices and has many of the same harmful effects as traditional bullying. Traditional approaches of schools and lawmakers in addressing cyberbullying have run into a myriad of difficulties. Anti-bullying laws often run into trouble on constitutional grounds. Likewise, school zero-tolerance policies tend to make the problem worse by failing to correct the behavior or leading to similar misbehavior in adulthood. This chapter introduces a new approach to curbing cyberbullying by utilizing the basic principles of restorative justice. Restorative justice focuses on mending the broken relationship between the victim and offender. There are some limitations to restorative practices; they cannot be utilized where the person who caused the harm refuses to be accountable for his or her actions. However, restorative practices tend to produce the added benefits of higher victim satisfaction, better education of the offender, as well as involvement of bystanders and supporters. The chapter provides examples of restorative techniques being used in schools and other settings, which appear to make a positive contribution to addressing cyberbullying, despite their implementation challenges. Overall, restorative practices offer a viable alternative to anti-bullying laws and zero-tolerance policies that minimize the negative symptoms of those approaches and maximize the emotional health and relationships of both the victim and offender.


Cyberbullying Restorative justice Restorative practices Anti-bullying laws Zero-tolerance policies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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