Colorado teachers now can withhold their personal information from the internet if they feel it would put them or their family at risk.
Gov. Jared Polis signed the provision, SB22-171, into law Thursday, adding educators to the growing list of professions lawmakers want to protect from doxxing. Doxxing is when people post a person’s personal information online, typically with the intent of promoting harassment or other malicious behavior.
“People shouldn’t have to give up their safety or security as teachers,” Polis said at the bill signing.
“This bill will make sure that fearing for their own safety has no place in our schools or society.”
This year Polis and lawmakers added health care workers, child protection workers, code enforcement officers and other public-facing but unelected workers to the state’s anti-doxxing law. Posting a protected person’s information online is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
This law also adds the specific dates an educator takes leave to their personnel file, which protects it from being released under Colorado Open Records Act requests. Educators also will be able to request state and local governments to remove their personal information that is typically posted online, such as property records.
The law was sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bridges and Kevin Priola, respectively a Greenwood Village Democrat and Henderson Republican, and Democratic Reps. Barbara McLachlan of Durango and Cathy Kipp and Fort Collins.
Speaking at the bill signing, McLachlan said the bill is about “kindness” toward those “who are only doing their very best.”
Lawmakers introduced the bill in response to concerns by Douglas County School District educators that they were being threatened for protesting the county school board’s actions this year.
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