Anti-Bullying Advocates Oppose Student Privacy Bill

Mar 25, 2015


Credit Flickr/Jason Howle

A 14-year-old bullying victim is speaking out against a proposal that would prohibit New Hampshire schools from accessing students' social media accounts.

Souhegan High School freshman Jonathan Petersen told the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday that the bill would prevent schools from fully investigating bullying allegations. He described an incident in which two girls snapped inappropriate pictures of him, and he joined other critics in urging lawmakers to amend the bill to include an exception for investigations.

Supporters of the bill, including the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, argued that students have a right to personal, private lives outside of school and that accessing their accounts is an invasion of privacy.

Similar legislation failed last year in New Hampshire, though it has been enacted in other states.