New Law Aims to Limit Free Speech for Students on the Internet
By JG Vibes
November 29, 2012
In recent years more than ever, the right to free speech has been significantly diminished by the federal government. Now protests can only take place with permits, in “free speech zones”, ironically enough, and there are now also laws limiting what you can and cannot say in front of government buildings, or in front of buildings where someone working for the government might be.
Now in the ultimate microcosm of the American prison-police state, the public school, the right for students to express themselves freely is now under attack. A new law proposed in North Carolina is actually threatening to cross this line, and dictate what students can and cannot say on the internet.
According to the ACLU:
“A new state law, the 2012 School Violence Prevention Act, that will be the first in the nation to impose criminal sanctions on public school students who use computers with the “intent to intimidate or torment” school employees will go into effect Dec. 1.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina opposes the law because it is too broad, threatens to chill students’ free speech, sets a bad precedent by telling students it’s wrong to criticize government officials, and could saddle students as young as 16 with up to 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine for a wide range of acts that do not merit a criminal punishment. The law would even criminalize true statements by prohibiting online statements “whether true or false, (emphasis added) intending to immediately provoke, and that is likely to provoke, any third party to stalk or harass a school employee.”