HB 1364 – Don’t Torment the Teacher on the Internet

Reps. Huston and Turner have introduced HB 1364 which makes it a civil cause of action for a student, former student, or their family members to mess with a teacher on the Internet with intent to intimidate or torment. By “mess with” I mean:

(1) build a fake profile of a school employee on an Internet web site, including a social networking web site;
(2) post or encourage other people to post on an Internet web site, including a social networking web site, private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee;
(3) post a real or doctored image of a school employee on an Internet web site;
(4) access, alter, or erase any computer network, computer data, computer program, or computer software that belongs to a school employee; or
(5) use a computer system for repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or posts on a social networking web site, to a school employee.

The tormented teacher can get $1,000 and an injunction. Mainly I flagged this one because I’m not sure I’d seen the word “torment” in legislation before. Reminded me of that film classic, Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl Bowl-O-Rama where the Imp says “I will torment you. It is my job. You know I must.”


  1. says

    OK…couple of comments/questions…

    Does (1) include teacher rating sites?

    Does (3) include positing pictures of school functions (basketball games, etc) to Facebook, where the inclusion of Faculty might be incidental but said faculty might find offensive / inappropriate / embarrassing?

    (4)…wow. They could have at least ASKED somebody familiar with technology to write that one… You can’t “erase” a computer network.

    It boils down to that is a terribly written law; vague in all the ways you don’t want to be when it comes to opening up civil suits.

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