14-458.2. Cyber-bullying of school employee by student; penalty.

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) School employee. - The term means any of the following:

a. An employee of a local board of education, a charter school authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5, a regional school created under G.S. 115C-238.62, a lab school created under G.S. 116-239.7, or a nonpublic school which has filed intent to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes.

b. An independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor of a local board of education, a charter school authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5, a regional school created under G.S. 115C-238.62, a lab school created under G.S. 116-239.7, or a nonpublic school which has filed intent to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, if the independent contractor carries out duties customarily performed by employees of the school.

(2) Student. - A person who has been assigned to a school by a local board of education as provided in G.S. 115C-366 or has enrolled in a charter school authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5, a regional school created under G.S. 115C-238.62, a lab school created under G.S. 116-239.7, or a nonpublic school which has filed intent to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, or a person who has been suspended or expelled from any of those schools within the last year.

(b) Except as otherwise made unlawful by this Article, it shall be unlawful for any student to use a computer or computer network to do any of the following:

(1) With the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee, do any of the following:

a. Build a fake profile or Web site.

b. Post or encourage others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee.

c. Post a real or doctored image of the school employee on the Internet.

d. Access, alter, or erase any computer network, computer data, computer program, or computer software, including breaking into a password-protected account or stealing or otherwise accessing passwords.

e. Use a computer system for repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or other transmissions, to a school employee.

(2) Make any statement, whether true or false, intending to immediately provoke, and that is likely to provoke, any third party to stalk or harass a school employee.

(3) Copy and disseminate, or cause to be made, an unauthorized copy of any data pertaining to a school employee for the purpose of intimidating or tormenting that school employee (in any form, including, but not limited to, any printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs, or computer software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network).

(4) Sign up a school employee for a pornographic Internet site with the intent to intimidate or torment the employee.

(5) Without authorization of the school employee, sign up a school employee for electronic mailing lists or to receive junk electronic messages and instant messages, with the intent to intimidate or torment the school employee.

(c) Any student who violates this section is guilty of cyber-bullying a school employee, which offense is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d) Whenever any student pleads guilty to or is guilty of an offense under this section, the court may, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the student, defer further proceedings and place the student on probation upon such reasonable terms and conditions as the court may require. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of the probation provided for in this subsection, the court shall discharge the student and dismiss the proceedings against the student. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection shall be without court adjudication of guilt and shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of this section or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime. Upon discharge and dismissal pursuant to this subsection, the student may apply for an order to expunge the complete record of the proceedings resulting in the dismissal and discharge, pursuant to the procedures and requirements set forth in G.S. 15A-146.

(e) Whenever a complaint is received pursuant to Article 17 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes based upon a student's violation of this section, the juvenile may, upon a finding of legal sufficiency pursuant to G.S. 7B-1706, enter into a diversion contract pursuant to G.S. 7B-1706. (2012-149, s. 4; 2014-101, s. 7; 2016-94, s. 11.6(b).)