HB 285: "An Act relating to schools, school districts, correspondence programs, private schools, and the employees of those schools, districts, and programs; relating to student social media privacy; relating to postsecondary educational institutions; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 285 01 "An Act relating to schools, school districts, correspondence programs, private schools, 02 and the employees of those schools, districts, and programs; relating to student social 03 media privacy; relating to postsecondary educational institutions; and providing for an 04 effective date." 05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 * Section 1. AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to read: 07 Sec. 14.03.117. Student personal social media accounts. (a) Except as 08 provided in (b) and (d) - (h) of this section, an education program or an employee of 09 an education program may not require, request, coerce, or compel a student to 10 (1) disclose the student's username, password, or other means of 11 authentication for the student's personal social media account; 12 (2) provide access to the student's personal social media account 13 through the student's username, password, or other means of authentication; 14 (3) access the student's personal social media account in the presence
01 of an employee in a manner that enables the employee to observe the contents of the 02 account; 03 (4) add a person, including an employee, to the list of contacts 04 associated with the student's personal social media account; or 05 (5) change the settings that affect a third party's ability to view the 06 contents of the student's personal social media account. 07 (b) An employee of an education program may request a student to take an 08 action described in (a)(3) or (4) of this section if the employee is a family member or 09 friend of the student. For the purposes of this subsection, if the employee is a friend of 10 the student, the friendship must exist before the employee makes a request authorized 11 under this subsection. 12 (c) An education program or an employee of an education program may not 13 discipline or penalize a student or prohibit a student from participating in a school 14 activity for refusing to comply with a requirement, request, or attempt to coerce or 15 compel a student to take an action described under (a) of this section. 16 (d) If an education program or an employee of an education program 17 inadvertently receives the username, password, or other means of authentication for a 18 student's personal social media account through the use of an otherwise lawful virus 19 scan or firewall that monitors the education program's network or electronic devices 20 provided by the education program, the education program is not liable for damages in 21 a civil proceeding or subject to criminal prosecution for receiving the information. The 22 education program or employee may not use the information received under this 23 subsection to access a student's social media account and may not share the 24 information. The education program or employee shall delete the information as soon 25 as reasonably practicable. 26 (e) Nothing in this section prohibits an education program or an employee of 27 an education program from obtaining access to publicly available information about a 28 student. 29 (f) An education program or an employee of an education program may 30 request or require that a student share specific, identifiable data or information that has 31 been reported to the education program or employee as long as
01 (1) the education program or employee does not take an action 02 described under (a) or (c) of this section; and 03 (2) the request or requirement is for the purpose of 04 (A) ensuring compliance with applicable laws or regulations; or 05 (B) investigating an allegation, based on specific information 06 received by the education program or employee, that the student unlawfully 07 harassed or bullied another student. 08 (g) An education program or an employee of an education program may 09 prohibit a student from accessing or using a personal social media account during 10 school hours or while on the property of the education program. 11 (h) An education program or an employee of an education program who 12 violates this section is liable in a civil action for actual damages, including mental pain 13 and suffering, and equitable relief, plus costs and reasonable attorney fees, to a person 14 injured by the education program's or employee's action. 15 (i) An employee of an education program who violates this section may be 16 subject to disciplinary proceedings and punishment. For employees who are 17 represented under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, this section controls 18 except where this section conflicts with the terms of the collective bargaining 19 agreement. 20 (j) In this section, 21 (1) "education program" includes a school, school district, school 22 board, postsecondary educational institution in the state, and correspondence program 23 offered by a school, school district, or postsecondary educational institution in the 24 state; 25 (2) "employee" means a full-time or part-time employee, contractor, 26 intern, or volunteer of an education program or a full-time or part-time member, 27 employee, contractor, intern, or volunteer of the governing body of an education 28 program; 29 (3) "family member" means the spouse, guardian, parent, stepparent, 30 sibling, stepsibling, grandparent, step-grandparent, child, uncle, or aunt of a student; 31 (4) "friend" means a person with whom a student has a mutual,
01 amicable relationship; 02 (5) "personal social media account" means an account with a provider 03 of electronic communication services in which a user may create, share, and view 04 user-generated content, including uploading or downloading videos or photographs, 05 blogs, video blogs, podcasts, messages, electronic mail, or Internet website profiles or 06 locations; a personal social media account does not include an account 07 (A) opened at the request of an education program or an 08 employee of an education program; 09 (B) provided by an education program; or 10 (C) intended to be used solely on behalf of an education 11 program; 12 (6) "postsecondary educational institution" has the meaning given in 13 AS 14.48.210; 14 (7) "school district" has the meaning given in AS 14.30.350; 15 (8) "student" means a current or prospective student or participant, 16 whether full-time or part-time, in an organized course of study at an education 17 program; 18 (9) "username" means a series of characters used to identify a person 19 to allow access to a personal social media account. 20 * Sec. 2. AS 14.45.100(a) is amended to read: 21 (a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, a religious or other private school 22 that complies with AS 14.45.100 - 14.45.130 is exempt from other provisions of law 23 and regulations relating to education except the provisions of AS 14.03.117 and law 24 and regulations relating to physical health, fire safety, sanitation, immunization, and 25 physical examinations. 26 * Sec. 3. AS 14.48.060(b) is amended to read: 27 (b) A postsecondary educational institution must be maintained and operated, 28 or, in the case of a new institution, must demonstrate that it can be maintained and 29 operated, so that 30 (1) the quality and content of each course or program of instruction, 31 training, or study are such as may reasonably and adequately achieve the stated
01 objective for which the course or program is offered; 02 (2) the institution has or has access to adequate space, equipment, 03 instructional materials, and personnel where applicable to achieve the stated objective 04 of the course or program of study and to provide education of good quality; 05 (3) the education or experience qualifications of directors, 06 administrators, supervisors, and instructors are such as may reasonably ensure that the 07 students will receive education consistent with the objectives of the course or program 08 of study; 09 (4) the institution provides a catalog or brochure containing 10 information describing the programs offered, program objectives, length of program, 11 schedule of tuition, fees, and all other charges and expenses necessary for completion 12 of the course of study, cancellation and refund policies, and other material facts 13 concerning the institution and the program or course of instruction that are reasonably 14 likely to affect the decision of the student to enroll, together with any other disclosures 15 specified by the commission by regulation; and that this information is provided to 16 prospective students before enrollment; 17 (5) upon satisfactory completion of training, the student is given 18 appropriate educational credentials by the institution, indicating that the course of 19 instruction or study has been satisfactorily completed by the student; 20 (6) adequate records are maintained by the institution to show 21 attendance, progress, or grades, and that satisfactory standards are enforced relating to 22 attendance, progress, and performance; 23 (7) the institution is maintained and operated in compliance with all 24 pertinent ordinances and laws relating to the safety and health of persons on the 25 premises of the institution; 26 (8) the institution is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its 27 commitments to students; 28 (9) neither the institution nor its agents engage in advertising, sales, 29 collection, credit, or other practices that [WHICH] are false, deceptive, misleading, or 30 unfair; 31 (10) the chief executive officer, trustees, directors, owners,
01 administrators, supervisors, staff, and instructors of the institution are of good 02 reputation and character and have not been convicted of a violation of AS 14.48.020 03 or 14.48.150 or AS 45.50.471 - 45.50.561 or a comparable law in another state or 04 province; 05 (11) the student housing owned, maintained, or approved by the 06 institution is appropriate, safe, and adequate; 07 (12) the institution has a fair and equitable cancellation and refund 08 policy; 09 (13) the charges set by the institution for tuition, fees, books, and 10 supplies are fair and equitable; [AND] 11 (14) the institution accepts military education, training, or service 12 credit or hours toward a degree or technical program offered by the institution if 13 (A) the institution otherwise accepts transfer credits or hours; 14 and 15 (B) the credit or hours transfer process meets the requirements 16 of the accrediting body of the institution or the commission; and 17 (15) the institution has adopted policies that protect student and 18 prospective student privacy related to personal social media accounts; the 19 policies required under this paragraph must be consistent with AS 14.03.117. 20 * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).