Over the last week and a half, I had the opportunity to speak to students in our grades 6 through 12 about the topic of cyber-bullying. In particular, I shared information concerning a recent update to North Carolina law that makes the cyber-bullying of school employees by students a Class 2 misdemeanor.

In August 2009, Governor Beverly Purdue signed into law House Bill 1261 which aimed to “protect children of this state by making cyber-bullying a criminal offense punishable as a misdemeanor.”

Effective Dec. 2, 2012, Senate ┬áBill 707 was expanded to include criminal penalties on students who use a computer with “the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee” including outlining ┬áthe following activities against school employees as illegal:

  • Building a fake online profile or website;
  • Posting private, personal, or sexual information;
  • Tampering with their online networks, data or accounts:
  • Signing them up to a pornographic website, or:
  • Making any statement, whether true or false, likely to provoke someone else to stalk or harass a school worker.

Penalties, for those 16 years of age or older, could be as much as 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine under state law.

For news articles on the new law visit:
Charlotte Observer Article

For information on the laws visit these links:
HOUSE BILL 1261 – AN ACT PROTECTING CHILDREN OF THIS STATE BY MAKING CYBER-BULLYING A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE AS A MISDEMEANOR.

SENATE BILL 707 – AN ACT TO ENACT THE SCHOOL VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT OF 2012; LIMIT PRAYERS FOR JUDGMENT CONTINUED; AND END SUNSET FOR A PROVISION REGARDING AN LEA’S BASIS OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT A CHILD WITH A DISABILITY.

For a copy of the slides from my presentation visit:
Cyber-bullying Law Presentation

During this winter break I encourage parents to speak with their children about the presentation, ask them if they have questions or concerns, and use it to spark conversation about student-to-student cyber-bullying as well. As you know, most cyber-bullying between students takes place in digital arenas not controlled by the School, but that does not lessen the damage that cyber-bullying can cause on the larger Ravenscroft community.

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