Eleven students at Annapolis High School have been disciplined for cyberbullying and their actions may have violated a new state law, as reported in the Capital-Gazette newspaper.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said punishments were handed down after a school investigation into comments attached to a picture of a student posted on social media. . . “The investigation showed the comments that were attached to the picture were such that they violated the bullying and cyberbullying policies,” Mosier said. . . The school board’s student handbook says punishments for cyberbullying can range from an office referral to expulsion.
With regard to the potential for a state investigation, the Capital-Gazette spoke with Anne Arundel County’s State’s Attorney’s office,
The new law makes it a crime to “disseminate unauthorized data pertaining to a minor with the intent to harass them,” said Heather Stone, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office. A conviction for the misdemeanor would carry a penalty of up to a year imprisonment or a fine of up to $500.
Stone said either the school or the victim could contact police to get a formal criminal investigation started. Stone said that without knowing details of the recent case, the county State’s Attorney’s Office did not know whether the law had been violated.
For more information, see the full story from the Capital Gazette and our past coverage on Conduit Street, Queen Anne’s County Schools Hold Anti-Bullying “Unity Day”, Maryland Partners with Facebook on Cyberbullying, Anti-Bullying in Howard County? There’s an App for That, Prince George’s County Offers Online Bullying Reporting System, MACo Conference: Education for Everyone.