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1996 – The South Carolina K-12 School Technology Initiative was established by the state legislature.
2005 – Former Attorney General Henry McMaster, announced that school resource officers were being trained to deliver the NetSmartz Internet safety presentation to K-12 students and parents. McMaster was active in strengthening legislation to target sexual predators: He strongly supported the introduction of the Internet predator law, which defines the crime of enticing a child for the purposes of sexual assault.
2006 – The governor signed the Safe School Climate Act into law. This provision expands the definition of harassment, intimidation and bullying to include electronic communication. It requires school districts to adopt and publicize policies prohibiting bullying, indicating consequences and remedial action for violations.
2009 – The South Carolina K-12 Internet Safety Standards were developed by the CyberSafety Task Force, part of the South Carolina Department of Education. These standards, divided by grade band (primary, elementary, middle and high) cover four areas: Digital Citizenship, Media Literacy, Cyber Ethics and Personal Safety, addressing in-depth all the issues students need to know in order to be safe online. These goals also form the basis for a wider public Internet safety awareness program.
Also in 2009, the state issued its 2009-2013 technology plan, setting objectives that included equity of access to all available technologies, and professional development for current and pre-service teachers in the use and integration of instructional technologies. The state plan provided a blueprint for districts to develop their own education technology plans, which require the state education department’s approval.
2014 – The state’s data use and governance policy went into effect. The law requires that any student data collected, managed, stored, transmitted, used, reported or destroyed is done so in a manner that will protect privacy rights and ensure confidentiality. Under this law, the education department must assign each student a unique identifier to protect privacy rights and no personally identifiable information can be shared in federal reporting.
The same year, the state’s education department issued its 2014-2016 technology plan. The plan breaks areas of focus into the following categories: student learning and classroom technology, infrastructure and security, professional development, and collaboration opportunities. It also provides a sample district technology plan and Internet safety recommendations.
Children’s Law Center, University of South Carolina
This is a resource center for South Carolina professionals who work on child maltreatment or juvenile justice court cases, and child advocates working to keep children safe. It works to enhance the knowledge and skills of these professionals, as well as promote informed public policy on this topic. The Center also conducts research to identify systemic barriers facing at-risk children and children in crisis, working toward finding solutions for children to overcome adversity.
Children's Trust of South Carolina
This organization focuses on preventing child abuse, training and educating professionals who work with families. It also funds, supports and monitors prevention programs. As part of its mission to keep kids safe, it provides information and guidelines for children’s Internet use.
Created in 2001, Knowitall.org is an online web portal providing free resources for statewide classroom use. The collection of resources includes interactive sites, images, simulations, virtual field trips and streaming video.
SC Bullying Prevention Initiative
A partnership between the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, the Hazelden Foundation, Clemson University and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, this organization provides information on issues such as cyberbullying and dating violence. It also makes online seminars and other resources available for school staff and parents.
The state’s public educational broadcasting network, SCETV has a multi-media educational system in more than 2,500 schools, colleges, businesses and government agencies. Using television, radio and online content, SCETV’s mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, and instilling the joy of learning.
South Carolina Assistive Technology Program
This federally funded program works to make technology accessible to people with disabilities. The organization also explains how assistive technology can benefit children – with and without disabilities – by allowing them to explore and control their environments, and develop self-assurance and self-sufficiency.
South Carolina Association for Educational Technology
SCAET is a nonprofit organization which exists to promote the innovative, intelligent and responsible use of technology for the enhancement of education in South Carolina.
South Carolina Attorney General
Attorney General, Alan Wilson works toward combating Internet crimes against children. His office provides information to prosecutors and law enforcement, as well as schools, community groups, parents and children. The office operates the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
South Carolina Department of Administration, Division of Technology
This department provides information to raise awareness on cybersecurity, organizations and educational institutions. It is responsible for statewide policy standards and services relating to cybersecurity and information systems, and helps facilitate the delivery of technology services to government entities statewide.
South Carolina Department of Education
The state’s education department covers issues of data security and privacy, and information systems on its website. The school system also offers a Career and Technology Education program, with a specialty available in Information Technology.
South Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
The South Carolina ICAC website provides information to children, parents and educators on various aspects of Internet safety, as well as a number of links to other sources of information.
South Carolina K-12 School Technology Initiative
Established in 1996, the initiative continues to address technology infrastructure, connectivity and education in schools statewide. It guides the distribution of funds to meet schools’ technology needs. The initiative also provides information about E-Rate funding in the state.
This state-sponsored education program offers free online learning programs to students attending public, private and home schools in grades 7-12, as well as adult students. It partners with schools to provided individualized online learning to students.
South Carolina K-12 School Technology Initiative: 2014-15 Progress Report (2015)The South Carolina K-12 School Technology Initiative
This report focuses on South Carolina's progress implementing school technology plans.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: South Carolina State Report (2015)National Human Trafficking Resource Center
This report compiles 2014 data on human trafficking, including the number of reports made to NHTRC and demographic data on the state's trafficking victims.
Cyberbullying In Higher Education: The Experiences and Perceptions of First-Year College Students and University Administrators (2012)A. Gutshall
This study of first-year students at the University of South Carolina found that while the majority of students do not rank cyberbullying as a concern, every student surveyed had experienced at least one instance of inappropriate digital communication and cyberbullying was a growing concern for administrators.
Juvenile Indigent Defense: A Report on Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings (2010)M.A. Scali, J.S. Song, P. Puritz
This report assesses concerns about the quality of the defense represenation children receive in court.
K-12 Digital Information Systems: More than a Screen and a Keyboard (2008)South Carolina Education Oversight Committee
This report makes recommendations for the funding of educational technology in South Carolina.
Levels and Demographic Correlates of Adolescent Life Satisfaction Reports (2000)E.S. Huebner, W. Drane, R.F. Valois
This study assessed the levels and demographic correlates of South Carolina adolescents' perceptions of their overall life satisfaction and satisfaction with five specific domains of their lives (i.e. family, friends, school, self, living environment).
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
- South Carolina Code of Laws (SC CL) 10-1-205. Computers in Public Libraries; Regulation of Internet Access. This section requires the development of acceptable Internet use policies for computers located in public libraries, as well as public and private schools, to protect children from certain online material.
- SC CL 10-1-106. Library Pilot Program for Internet Filtering Software. Initiates a pilot program to gauge the feasibility of installing Internet filtering software in libraries and educational institutions.
- SC CL 16-3-652. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree. This section states that it is a criminal offense for a person to engage in sexual intercourse with the use of force or in any way that renders the victim incapable of giving consent, such as by plying with alcohol or drugs. Also covered by this section are situations in which the victim submits to sexual intercourse because the person is also the victim of human trafficking, kidnapping, forcible confinement or a similar offense. This is deemed to be a felony and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years.
- SC CL 16-3-653. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree. It is unlawful to threaten the use of force to accomplish sexual battery. This is deemed to be a felony punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
- SC CL 16-3-654. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree. States that it is an offense to engage in sexual intercourse with a person where any coercion is used or where the victim is mentally incapacitated or defective. This is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
- SC CL 16-3-655. Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor; Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances; Penalties; Repeat Offenders. This section states, among other things, that it is a felony to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 11 years of age, or where the offender has a previous conviction for this offense. The minimum term of imprisonment for this is 25 years for a first conviction. For a second conviction then the offender may be liable for the death penalty or life imprisonment. The offense is defined as being in the second degree where the minor is aged between 11 and 14 and the offender engages in sexual penetration with them or where the minor is aged between 14 and 16 and the offender is in a position of authority over them. The maximum term of imprisonment for this is 20 years.
- SC CL 16-3-755. Sexual Battery with a Student. States that it is an offense for a person affiliated with a public or private junior or high school in an official capacity to engage in sexual battery with an enrolled student who is 16 or 17 years old. If aggravated coercion or force is not used this is a felony punishable for no more than five years. If the student is 18 or older and aggravated coercion or force is not used, this is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. If the student is 18 or older and the person has direct supervisory authority over said student, and if aggravated coercion or force is not used, sexual battery is a felony punishable by imprisonment not to exceed five years.
- SC CL 16-3-810. Engaging Child for Sexual Performance; Penalty. Sets a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment for anyone who employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance.
- SC CL 16-3-820. Producing, Directing or Promoting Sexual Performance by Child; Penalty. States that it is a crime for a person to produce, direct, or promote a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age. If convicted the offender faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
- SC CL 16-3-850. Film Processor or Computer Technician to Report Film or Computer Images Containing Sexually Explicit Pictures of Minors. This section states that any computer technician working with a computer who views an image of a child younger than 18 involved in sexual conduct must report the image to the law enforcement agency. In doing so they become immune to resulting civil suits.
- SC CL 16-3-1700. Harassment and Stalking; Definitions. Defines, among other things, harassment in the second degree as a pattern of intentional intrusion into someone’s private life without legitimate purpose via verbal, electronic or written contact, which causes mental or emotional distress. Stalking is defined as a pattern of words, whether electronic, verbal or written, that also serves no legitimate purpose and causes the victim to fear death, assault, bodily injury, criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping or damage to property.
- SC CL 16-3-1705. Electronic Mail Service Provider; Immunity. Declares an electronic mail service provider immune to any charge or penalty assessed based upon any subsequent violation of stalking or harassment law relating to the providers providing transmission of an electronic contact through their service.
- SC CL 16-3-1710. Penalties for Conviction of Harassment in the Second Degree. Defines the offense as a pattern of intentional, substantial and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person to suffer mental or emotional distress. This section includes harassment via electronic communication. The term of imprisonment for this misdemeanor is not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine of up to $200. The term of confinement rises to one year where the offender has a previous conviction issued within the past 10 years.
- SC CL 16-3-1720. Penalties for Conviction of Harassment in the First Degree. Defined as a pattern of intentional, substantial and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person to suffer mental or emotional distress. This may include following the targeted person and surveillance of them. A person found guilty may be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than three years for a first conviction. A second or subsequent conviction for this section, within 10 years of a previous conviction under this section, incurs a prison term of up to five years and/or a fine of $5,000.
- SC CL 16-3-1730. Penalties for Conviction of Stalking. The offense as defined means a pattern of words or conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and is intended to cause and does cause that person to fear death, sexual violence or serious injury. This is a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed five years. If the person is also violating a restraining order, this is punishable by a fine of not to exceed $7,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 10 years. A person with a prior harassment or stalking conviction in the previous 10 years will be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for no more than 15 years.
- SC CL 16-15-130. Indecent Exposure. States that it is unlawful for a person to willfully, maliciously, and indecently expose his/her person in a public place. This section does not apply to a mother breastfeeding her own child. This is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed three years and/or a fine to be imposed at the discretion of the court.
- SC CL 16-15-250. Communicating Obscene Messages to other Persons Without Consent. States that it is unlawful for a person to anonymously communicate, including electronically, any obscene, profane, indecent, vulgar, suggestive, or immoral message without consent. Violation of this section incurs a fine at the discretion of the court and/or a term of imprisonment of up to three years.
- SC CL 16-15-305. Disseminating, Procuring or Promoting Obscenity Unlawful; Definitions; Penalties; Obscene Material Designated Contraband. This section states that it is a criminal offense to disseminate any obscene material, including by way of sale, production, delivery or publishing, among others. The penalty for this offense is up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
- SC CL 16-15-325. Participation in Preparation of Obscene Material Prohibited; Penalties. Where a person photographs themselves or another individual for the purposes of preparing obscene material they commit a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to up to one year’s imprisonment and fined up to $1,000.
- SC CL 16-15-335. Permitting Minor to Engage in Any Act Constituting Violation of This Article Prohibited; Penalties. States that it is a crime for any adult to permit, hire, use or employ a minor under 18 to engage in any obscene act. This is deemed to be a felony and an offender may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
- SC CL 16-15-342. Criminal Solicitation of a Minor; Defenses; Penalties. Declares that an adult over the age of 18 commits this offense when they knowingly contact or communicate with a minor under the age of 18 with the purpose of persuading or enticing them to participate in sexual activity or with the intent of performing a sexual activity in their presence. Violation of this section carries a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.
- SC CL 16-15-345. Disseminating Obscene Material to Person under Age 18 Prohibited; Penalties. Defines the offense of disseminating obscene material to a minor under the age of 18, which carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
- SC CL 16-15-355. Disseminating Obscene Material to Minor Twelve Years of Age or Younger Prohibited. This section is similar to the previous one but deals with situations where the minor in question is under 12 years old and the term of imprisonment rises to 15 years. The penalty for this offense is up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
- SC CL 16-15-365. Exposure of Private Parts in Lewd and Lascivious Manner; Aiding or Procuring Person to Perform Such Act, or Permitting Use of Premises for Such Act Prohibited; Penalties. States that anyone who willfully and knowingly exposes the private parts of their person in a lewd and lascivious manner and in the presence of any other person commits a criminal offense and may be imprisoned for up to six months and/or fined up to $500.
- SC CL 16-15-385. Disseminating Harmful Material to Minors and Exhibiting Harmful Performance to Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties. This section states that a person is guilty of an offense if, knowing its harmful content, they sell, present, or distribute the material to a minor. It is also an offense to allow them to view it. An offender faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine of not more than $5,000.
- SC CL 16-15-387. Employment of Person under 18 to Appear in Public in State of Sexually Explicit Nudity; Mistake of Age; Penalties. It is unlawful for a person to employ a person under the age of 18 years to appear in a state of sexually explicit nudity. Mistake of age is not a defense. The offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- SC CL 16-15-395. First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defined; Presumptions; Defenses; Penalties. States that it is a criminal offense to use, employ, induce or record (among other definitions) a minor to engage or assist in sexual activity for a live performance or for a recording designed for pecuniary gain. This is a felony and the term of imprisonment ranges from three to 20 years. The minimum part of the sentence may not be suspended and the offender is not eligible for parole before the end of the minimum term.
- SC CL 16-15-405. Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defined; Presumptions; Defenses; Penalties. It is a crime for a person to record or disseminate material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity or in a sexually explicit state of nudity. The sentence ranges from two to 10 years’ imprisonment. The minimum part of the sentence may not be suspended and the offender is not eligible for parole before the end of the minimum term.
- SC CL 16-15-410. Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor; Penalties; Exception. This section states that it is unlawful to possess any material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity. This is a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
- SC CL 16-15-415. Promoting Prostitution of a Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties. This section states that anyone who entices, forces, encourages or otherwise facilitates the prostitution of a minor is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for three to 20 years. It is equally unlawful to supervise, support, advise or promote a minor’s prostitution.
- SC CL 16-15-425. Participating in Prostitution of a Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties. Defines the offense as to patronize a minor prostitute when not being a minor himself/herself. The offense is punishable by imprisonment for two to five years.
- SC CL 16-15-445. Seizure and Forfeiture of Equipment Used in Committing Violation; Hearing; Disposition of Forfeited Property; Allocation of Sale Proceeds. States that any equipment used directly in committing violations of 16-15-305, 16-15-342, 16-15-395, 16-15-405 or 16-15-410 may be seized by authorities upon an order by the court and sold at public auction. The proceeds of any auction are divided between the arresting law enforcement agency and the Victim’s Compensation Fund.
- SC CL 16-17-430. Unlawful Communication. This section states that it is a misdemeanor to communicate by telephonic or other electronic means any obscene or immoral message to another person. Furthermore it is against the law to electronically contact another repeatedly for the purpose of annoying or harassing another person or their family. The penalty for an offense under this section is a maximum of 30 days’ imprisonment or a fine of between $100 and $500.
- SC CL 16-17-470. Eavesdropping, Peeping, Voyeurism. States that it is unlawful for a person to be a peeping tom on or about the premises of another. The term “peeping tom” includes a person who looks through windows, doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another, for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of the persons spied upon. This includes the use of video or audio equipment. The sentence for this is up to three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500. Furthermore, a person commits the crime of voyeurism under this section if for the purpose gratifying sexual desires they view or record another person, without their consent, in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For a first offense the punishment is up to three years’ imprisonment. A second offense carries a prison term of up to five years.
- SC CL 16-17-490. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. States, among other things, that it is unlawful for any adult to encourage, aid or to do any act which causes or influences a minor to violate any law or municipal order; to associate with immoral or vicious persons, or to habitually use obscene language. An offender will be fined up to $3,000 and/or jailed for up to three years.