North Carolina Teachers Want Jail Time For Students Who Criticize Them

North Carolina students who go after their teachers online could face jail time — and truth won’t even be a defense, under a new law that critics say infringes on free speech rights.

The law, called the School Violence Prevention Act, is aimed at students who torment their teachers by creating fake online profiles, posting personal information or images, signing them up to pornographic sites or make any statement, “whether true or false” that’s intended to “immediately provoke” anyone to “stalk or harass a school employee.”

“It became apparent that we had to get some kind of protection,” said Judy Kidd, of the Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina, which sought the legislation.

But critics of the law, which took effect Dec. 1 and makes such actions a Class 2 misdemeanor equal to simple assault or resisting arrest, say it is vague, overly harsh and unconstitutional. The ACLU of North Carolina said “criminalizing student speech is a slippery slope and establishes a bad precedent.”

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

Related posts