Rep Lucidos cyberbullying plan receives final legislative approval

first_img Categories: Lucido News,News Legislation from state Rep. Peter Lucido addressing the growing and troubling trend of cyberbullying is one step from state law after a vote of final approval today in the Michigan House.“A fundamental duty of state government is to keep residents safe,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “Intimidation and threatening behavior online impacts life for people in our schools and businesses in a time where we are seeing a rise in suicide and depression. It’s time to put a stop to it and hold online bullies accountable, just as we would if the intimidating or threatening behavior were being carried out in person.”Current state law does not explicitly cover cyberbullying. Lucido’s plan defines it within law as clear intent to communicate fear of bodily harm or death – aligning Michigan with several other states that have formal online anti-bullying statute.A person charged with misdemeanor cyberbullying could be punished with up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense, with added violations carrying penalties of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.If the online intimidation escalates to an assault or serious injury, offenders may be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the offense leads to a fatality, the felony could be punishable up to 10 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.According to the National Center for Education, about one of every five students within the ages of 12-18 experience some form of cyberbullying. Close to 800,000 worldwide people die from suicide every year, according to data from the World Health Organization.“Real penalties are needed for real problems and we’re seeing around the country that this is a real problem,” Lucido said. “Talking to someone over the computer or through a text message is a legitimate form of communication today. If you are using that line of communication in an unacceptable fashion, there should be consequences for those actions. This legislation updates the law and will serve as a deterrent.”House Bills 5017-18 will now be sent to the desk of the governor. 19Dec Rep. Lucido’s cyberbullying plan receives final legislative approvallast_img

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