New Anti-Bullying Plan Includes Cell Phone Search - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Anti-Bullying Plan Includes Cell Phone Search

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (AP) - Oak Harbor school principals may start looking through student cell phones as a way to crack down on cyber-bullying. Some parents and kids in the Snohomish County
school district say the proposed new policy is an invasion of privacy.

Assistant superintendent Lance Gibbon told The Herald newspaper the idea is to keep kids safe. The district wants principals to confiscate and search electronic devices when they suspect students
may be using their phones to harass others via e-mail, text message or by sending photos.

The policy would extend to messages and images sent outside of school hours if that content was then shared during school.

The Legislature has mandated that schools update their policies on bullying by August 2011. Oak Harbor's plan is based on suggestions from the Washington State School Directors Association.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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