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A Tip Sheet to Help Teachers Prevent and Respond to Doxxing

By Sarah D. Sparks & Laura Baker — May 24, 2024 1 min read
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Teaching is a social profession, but connecting to students, families, peers, and the wider community can put educators at higher risk of having personal information released to hurt or embarrass them.

This practice, known as “doxxing,” is becoming more common with the wider array of personal information available online, via directories, social media platforms, and hacking. Doxxing often occurs alongside other cyber-bullying, and can even escalate to physical harassment.

Only a handful of states—including , , , and —criminalize or set civil penalties for malicious release of personally identifiable information. And even in states that have such laws, thresholds for harm can be difficult to meet. For example, three of the board of directors of the Newberg Dundee school district in Yamhill County, Ore., sued parents over the release of social media posts in a private Facebook group, but a state appellate court last year that the board members did not prove this information release caused “severe emotional distress.”

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Still, teachers and administrators can be proactive to help protect their information online—and teach students to be good digital citizens.

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