Privacy Advocates Worry New State Cyberbullying Law Goes Too Far

(CBS) — It’s supposed to keep our kids safe, but a new state law aimed at curbing cyberbullying is coming under fire with some saying it goes too far.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports it is a problem, perhaps far bigger than we know and Karen Wojcikowski, president of the Bully Police Squad, just wants it to end.

“I’ve known a case as young as eight, suicide by hanging in a closet,” said Wojicikowski.

It’s why she’s all for a new state law aimed at stopping cyberbullying. It requires all schools,public or private, to add cyberbullying into the school code and have a policy to investigate any claims. Karen says it’s a good thing.

The ACLU is not so sure it is a good idea. Their concerns focus on the law’s language that allow schools to investigate even if the bullying happens anywhere outside their borders. That, they say, goes too far.

“We have a mechanism in our society for ensuring that students behave themselves when they aren’t in school, they’re called parents!” said Ed Yohnke of the Illinois ACLU.

One school district downstate notified parents that with this new law, they can require students to turn over their online passwords as part of a cyberbullying investigation.

CBS 2 spoke with lawmakers Wednesday who say that is not an option.

Cyberbullying was already covered in the student code of conduct for Chicago Public Schools before this new law was passed.

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