ACLU to fight anti-cyberbullying law

Dec. 2, 2012 at 6:36 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union said it would fight a North Carolina law making it a crime for students to post certain information about school workers.

The anti-cyberbullying law that went into effect Saturday makes it a misdemeanor for students to publish false information, personal images or private information about school employees or sign them up for Internet porn, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The ACLU said the law is the first in the country to impose criminal sanctions for such student actions.

Some teachers applaud the law, saying it can be used against those who engage in emotionally and professionally harmful Internet attacks.

"The more access kids have to computers, the more pervasive it was getting," Judy Kidd, head of the Charlotte-based Classroom Teachers Association and an Independence High School teacher, said.

The ACLU said it is encouraging students charged with such cyber crimes to call.

"Nobody else feels like it's necessary to criminalize student speech online ... . We're teaching students it's not OK to criticize government officials," said Sarah Preston, ACLU policy director, noting students 16 and older could go to jail for up to 60 days, even if they post true information.

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