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Legislators Draft Anti-Cyber Bullying Legislation

A bill sponsored by Republican Representative Todd Houston would make it a crime to set up a phony social media profile for a school worker with malicious intent.

It would also take steps to curb the cyber bullying of teachers and others who work for schools. Houston says he wrote the bill after hearing of rumors being spread about teachers in several school districts through fake Twitter accounts set up by others, accounts that often contain the name and likeness of the teachers.

It is similar to a bill that became state law in North Carolina last year. It was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union. North Carolina was the first state to pass such a law, though virtually every state has a law governing cyber bullying of students.

The bill received its first hearing in the House Education Committee on Tuesday. Houston says he is willing to listen to possible amendments to ensure it protects free speech. There is no companion bill in the state Senate as of now.

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