Print 35 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Aug 16 at 6:17 PM

Seeks to expel students who digitally harass others

Lawmakers in California are considering a bill to punish bullies that harass fellow student via digital means, such as test messages or social networks like MySpace.

Introduced in the California legislature by Assemblyman Ted Lieu of Torrance, Assembly Bill 86 opens up the possibility of suspension or expulsion to students who threaten others via any electronic medium, defined as “any information … transmitted by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic or other similar means.”

With the advent of the internet, educators are finding it increasingly difficult to watch for the signs of bullying, as students trade physical altercations with digital ones – incidents that leave occur outside of school grounds and leave little in the way of visible scars.

A California government-sanctioned review of the bill notes inspiration from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Task Force on School and Campus Safety, which published a report suggesting schools increase their prevention activities against bullying in any form, “including cyber bullying.”

“The growth in the use of technology and social networking sites by younger Americans has fueled a fear among professionals that cyber bullying will become the means most often utilized to harass,” reads the report. “while certainly more prevalent in the elementary and secondary school setting, issues related to bullying or intimidation are increasingly relevant in other nontraditional settings.”

Much of legislators’ awareness of cyberbullying can be traced to the case of Megan Meier, a chronically-depressed 13-year-old who committed suicide in 2006 after a friendship with a “16-year-old boy” – really the parent of one of Meier’s friends, 49-year-old Lori Drew – turned south. A local police investigation eventually turned into a federal investigation, and in May 2008 Drew a federal grand jury indicted Drew on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorization.

The FBI’s “questionable” logic in choosing to prosecute Drew based on her decision to violate MySpace’s Terms of Service (TOS) has since kicked off a thriving debate among legal experts, with lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation informally offering to step in on Drew’s behalf.

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RE: What's wrong with society?
By HrilL on 8/13/2008 1:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
The case was a girl not a boy. But anyway the thing is cyberbullies are in a lot of cases are not the same bullies that were the bigger kids at school. A lot of times they turn out to be the weaker ones who take the bullying activities online because they are safe and can torment their peers physiologically which could actually end up being more harmful in the long run. I never for more laws of control but in this case something needs to be done.

And as for that mother. I think she needs to go down. If it was kid doing that then that is one thing but a 49 year old adult should no better. And if they don't then those are not the adults we want in our public.

RE: What's wrong with society?
By Lerianis on 8/16/2008 6:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Listen, life is not all 'roses and puppies'. That girl was a ticking time bomb waiting for someone to light the fuse. I've looked at her mental health records that were leaked on another site and then taken down...... she was a seriously messed up piece of work, who had attempted suicide BEFORE that lady and her hoax got involved.

We just cannot be sure that this was the thing that drove this girl to suicide. Not when she had tried it MANY times before.

People just have to start teaching their children that there are asses out there who LOVE to manipulate people's emotions.... and then watch as they crash. I've had that done to me MANY times in my life, yet I NEVER considered suicide because of that (thought about it for OTHER reasons, but not because of bullying or cyberbullying).

The lady in question here probably thought she was just going to get a few evil 'jollies' out of harassing this girl... she didn't expect to drive her to suicide.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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