University presidents in New Mexico push for new exemptions in state public records law

The changes would exempt documents that identity the applicants for any public-sector job in the state, documents regarding alleged civil rights violations and proprietary university research. The amendment would give law enforcement agencies broader discretion to withhold from the public records that could “interfere with law enforcement proceedings” or constitute an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

Back in session, state lawmakers introduce new legislation on cyberbullying

With the start of a new legislative session in many statehouses, cyberbullying has reappeared on the radar this month.Legislators in four states have all proposed bills that either amend the definition of "bullying" or require school boards to implement policy regarding cyberbullying and other forms of harassment.States with pending legislation on issues of bullying and cyberbullying include:

  • Alaska: A proposal to amend the state's bullying law to include electronic as well as in-person communications.
  • New Mexico: Another proposal to include cyberbullying as a form of bullying, as well as a requirement for school boards to implement a "cyberbullying prevention policy" by August 2013.
  • New York: A proposal to revise the state's newly enacted 2012 cyberbullying law to define cyberbullying as "a repeated course of communication, or repeatedly causing a communication to be sent, by mechanical or electronic means, posting statements on the internet or through a computer network with no legitimate communication purpose which causes alarm or serious annoyance, or is likely to cause alarm or serious annoyance."
  • Virginia: Clarifies the term "bullying" and requires districts to enact anti-bullying policies not just involving student-on-student conduct but also bullying of school employees by other employees.
It is difficult to characterize cyberbullying legislation as a free speech issue because of the understandable public sympathy over bullying's influence on young people.