Elkin City School adops statewide cyberbullying law

Darcie DyerStaff Writer

October 29, 2012

Students who bully their teachers could soon be facing legal repercussions.

As of Dec. 1 Elkin City Schools will be adopting an expansion of North Carolina’s statewide cyberbullying law, The School Violence Prevention Act, making student-on-teacher cyberbullying a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

The School Violence Prevention Act of 2012 builds on the 2009 law that criminalized online bullying of a student or a student’s parent or guardian, but will now also make it a misdemeanor for students to post something online “with the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee.”

Activities made illegal by the new statute could include building a fake profile or website, posting personal or sexual information about school employees, and signing school employees up for pornographic websites or junk mail.

“We have never had an any incidents with this in the Elkin City Schools, but it’s one of those topical subjects across the United States, so we want to make sure we continue to have a positive environment for our student but also for our staff,” said Dr. Randy Bledsoe, superintendent of Elkin City Schools. “If this deters just one of our staff members from being faced with an embarrassing instance then it was well worth it.”

Elkin City School students will be made aware of this new law and it will be added to future student and staff handbooks, according to Bledsoe.

Reach Darcie Dyer at 835-1513 or ddyer@heartlandpublications.com.