N.C. Readies Ban on Student Bullying of Teachers
A new North Carolina law that takes effect Dec. 1 prohibits students from bullying teachers on social media, expanding protections for youths and parents passed three years ago.
But as state media point out, the law, apparently the first of its kind, has raised free-speech concerns because of what critics contend are undefined terms.
The School Violence Prevention Act of 2012 makes it illegal for students to post something “with the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee.” Banned postings include manipulated photos of teachers, creating fake profiles or websites, posting personal or sexual information, or signing up a teacher for pornographic sites or junk mail, the Raleigh News & Observer notes. The misdemeanor charge sets a $1,000 fine or up to 60 days in jail.
“We have to pull society back into a realization that what you say and what you do, you are held accountable for them,” Judy Kidd, president of the Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina, told Fox Charlotte. She and her group lobbied to get the new law passed.
One in five teachers reports having been harassed online or knowing another teacher who was, the Fox affiliate says.
But the ACLU sees danger.