New cyberbullying law protects school employees
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2012
A new cyberbullying law that goes into effect today protects school employees.
The statewide legislation makes it a criminal offense for a students to use a computer to intimidate or torment a school employee by creating fake profiles or websites, posting real or doctored images of them or harassing them via repeated electronic communication.
It is unlawful for students to post or encourage others to post private, personal or sexual information pertaining to a school employees on the Internet.
Students who tamper with school employees’ online networks, data or accounts by accessing, altering or erasing them are also breaking the law.
Students found guilty of the misdemeanor could spend up to 60 days behind bars. Those under the age of 16 can be slapped with a $1,000 fine.
A similar law passed in 2009 criminalized online bullying of a student or a student’s parent or guardian.
Nathan Currie, assistant superintendent of administration for the Rowan-Salisbury School System, supports the legislation.
“I think the new law is a great measure and a win at combating bullying,” he wrote in an email to the Post. “The school system does not tolerate any form of bullying and this added layer now gives us legal backing.”
Currie said the district hasn’t had any major issues with students cyberbullying employees, but officials are working with students who use cyberspace to harass each other.
The district’s new online bullying reporting system, set to roll out soon, can be used by students and employees to report incidents of bullying anonymously.
Currie said school leaders are up to date on polices governing bullying and harassment.
“Principals have received a copy of this new law and will be working with their staff and students in communicating this new law in their school community,” he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.