Connecticut Attorney General Pushes To Criminalize Cyber Bullying

HARTFORD, CT (WCBS 880) – Connecticut’s top law enforcement official wants to crack down on cyber bullying.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with State Attorney General George Jepsen

Right now, if a bully who targets kids on the internet is caught, he or she would likely be charged with a misdemeanor – breach of peace or, perhaps, harassment.

In Connecticut, Attorney General George Jepsen is pushing a bill that would make cyber bullying a criminal matter – a felony. He says would-be bullies need to know the consequences.

“They need to change their behavior. They’ll be better people for it,” Jepsen told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “We need to change our culture and send a message that bullying isn’t just part of growing up. It’s something that’s wrong and we’re not going to tolerate it.”

In cyber bullying, the instigator is rarely caught.

“You have the anonymity of being on the internet. So nobody knows exactly where this is coming from,” says Stamford‘s youth officer Sgt. Joe Kennedy, who believes that upgrading the law will heighten awareness.

“It’s also to send a message to the parents that if you have kids that participate in this type of activity, that they are going to be charged with it,” says Kennedy.

He notes just last week a list of names of dozens of school girls locally was posted on the internet singling them out as promiscuous.

Jepsen says there is a strong movement toward passage of the bill.

Do you think there should be tougher cyber bullying laws? Sound off below

  • Stef

    This should have been done a long time ago. How would you feel if you were the parents of a child who committed suicide over this. If someone has a problem with another person then you confront the person. It takes a real coward to go online and create a fake facebook page with the criminal intent to hurt that person or go on a site like Topix trying to find others to agree with them to destroy another person. How would you feel if it was your child or you lost your job due to this cruel and insane form of bullying.

  • Don Drake

    The 1990’s “clip art” that was used by CBS should be criminalized :)

  • jane

    another example of over-criminalization. everything is a crime so some AG with political aspirations can get attention. this is no pioneering idea. go after the child molestors or sex slave lunatics.

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