Student Group Says Bill Censoring Social Media Goes Too Far

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal for someone to create a fake social media profile of a teacher.

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A Twitter account shows it has been suspended because of suspicious activity.

Representative Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says students who bully teachers online need to do more than just apologize. He has filed legislation that would fine students up to $1,000 for building fake online profiles of teachers or otherwise harass them on social media.

Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte says schools already have plenty of power over student speech.

“What it appears to be is an attempt to extend school authority over everything that students do in their off-campus lives, 24/7,” he says. “We already have a mechanism for controlling what students do in their off-campus lives, and they’re called parents,”

Assistant Richland-Bean Blossom Superintendent Carol Gardiner says schools should be able to handle these situations without legislative help.

“I don’t believe that the law will change anything for us at this time. I believe in being proactive and teaching students responsibility and respect, and will continue to do that,” Gardiner says.

Huston’s bill has been assigned to the House Education Committee.

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