N.C. Law Makes Cyberbullying Against Educators a Criminal Offense

North Carolina has become the first state to make student cyberbullying against educators a crime. The new law, which took effect on Dec. 1, charges students who harass their teachers or other school employees with a misdemeanor offense, with a maximum penalty of either 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

The 2012 School Violence Prevention Act passed through the North Carolina legislature with just one opposing vote. Advocates for the bill cited a number of incidents where students have received little to no penalty for online harassment, including a 2008 incident in which a student in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District created a fake MySpace profile that suggested the teacher was a pedophile.

Though many states have passed laws against student-on-student cyberbullying, this is likely the first state law that penalizes harassment against educators with jail time.

We would be opposed to teachers cyberbullying students on line, it is impressive that North Carolina has seen fit to criminalize students cyberbullying educators.  Maybe more states can follow this trend.