The Daily Caller is reporting that Department of Education (DOE) officials “are threatening school principals with lawsuits if they fail to monitor and curb students’ lunchtime chat and evening Facebook time for expressing ideas and words that are deemed by Washington special-interest groups to be harassment of some students.”

According to the report, the DOE issued new guidelines in a “Dear Colleague” letter in October, which the site sums up as saying “federal officials have reinterpreted the civil-rights laws that require school principals to curb physical bullying, as well as racist and sexist speech, that take place within school boundaries.”

The letter, according to the DC, explains that principals and schools are now liable for “harassment” that takes place off school grounds or online. It says:

Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet… it does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents [but] creates a hostile environment … [which can] limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.

The DC says Facebook, which is one of the most popular online social networks, is “thrilled” to aid the government’s new directive.

“We’re adding a unique feature, developed with safety experts, that lets people also report content to someone in their support system (like a parent or teacher) who may be able to address the issue more directly,’ Facebook said in a statement on March 11. “It is our hope that features like this will help not only remove the offensive content but also help people get to the root of the problem.”

Read the entire story at the Daily Caller.