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Bill to criminalize cyberbullying draws bipartisan support(Colorado)
kdvr ^ | 05:47pm, February 24 | Thomas Hendrick and Eli Stokols

Posted on 02/24/2014 5:56:15 PM PST by Red Steel

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers gave initial approval to legislation that would make cyberbullying a crime.

Cyberbullying has increasingly become a part of modern childhood where young children have access to social media sites and near constant Internet access on smart phones.

The House Education Committee approved the legislation, HB 1131,on a unanimous bipartisan vote of 12-0.

The bill, which now moves to the House Appropriations Committee, would make it illegal for someone to harass a minor online if the victim feels the threat puts them in serious emotional distress or fear for their life.

“Bullying will never stop if we just stand by and do nothing,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, the bill’s sponsor. “Our children need to be free from fear.”

The crime would be added to the state law on harassment as a class 2 misdemeanor.

A number of teens described their experiences of being bullied before lawmakers Monday afternoon.

“I’d get it at school and then log on to the internet when I got home and see it there too, just all this hatred, things like ‘no one wants you there, it’d be better off if you just killed yourself’,” Ashley Berry told FOX31 Denver.

“It makes you feel like no one’s really there for you. You start to have suicidal thoughts, wondering maybe it would be better if I wasn’t here. It makes you feel alone and like no one is there for you.

“If this bill passes, at least we’ll know that even if our parents or our teachers aren’t listening, the state will be there for us.”

Highlands Ranch mother Naomi Lowell told us in November about the bullying her 13-year-old daughter received.

Messages sent to her Facebook page included threats and “awful stuff like, Go kill yourself,” Lowell said.

Lowell said she was able to work with her daughter’s school to stop the bullying. That is often the only course available to parents whose children have been bullied.

Some district attorney’s have filled harassment charges in cases of extreme bullying. However, statutorily, the crime can be difficult to prosecute. The new Colorado law is intended to fix this.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: colorado; cyberbullying; rhodafields
Hmmmmm... Having not seen this bill, but I doubt that it is much of a leap from violating the First Amendment. It's a Dem party dream to criminalize speech or talk. You only have to look as fas as the Obama FCC wanting to place their minders in newsrooms. And Rhoda Fields is the same Denver leftist who sponsored the CO anti-2nd Amendment bills last year.
1 posted on 02/24/2014 5:56:15 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

Haha, might give them grounds to ban us ‘bullies’ on FreeRepublic for making the left7ards cry.


2 posted on 02/24/2014 5:58:20 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Red Steel

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3126612/posts


3 posted on 02/24/2014 6:01:14 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: Red Steel

Duh. Why not just not look at their emails or only release their email addresses to a selected few. Also, who compels any mentally inadequate nitwit teen to go on Facebook.or Twitter? Looks like CO legislature is gutting the 1st Amendment to save a few inadequate nitwits.


4 posted on 02/24/2014 6:04:37 PM PST by libstripper (Asv)
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To: Red Steel

I’m sure this law won’t be abused.


5 posted on 02/24/2014 6:06:27 PM PST by Husker24
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To: TigersEye

Heard they were calling it the TigersBlackEye bill for the ruthless, predatory, combative style of its namesake?


6 posted on 02/24/2014 6:12:56 PM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: Viennacon
Haha, might give them grounds to ban us ‘bullies’ on FreeRepublic for making the leftards cry.

Exactly! Just think about how we let the leftists have it (in print), when one dares to come on this forum spewing their liberal garbage. "Oh, heavens, they even zotted me".

7 posted on 02/24/2014 6:17:09 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Welfare is a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. F.D.R.)
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To: Red Steel

But the Bullies of the Gay Gestapo will still be able to bash Christian heterosexuals at their pleasure.


8 posted on 02/24/2014 6:21:26 PM PST by digger48
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To: Red Steel

Does this mean I have to quit calling FReepers whom I disagree with:

Idiots
Clowns
Illiterate
???


9 posted on 02/24/2014 6:24:46 PM PST by G Larry
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To: Red Steel

more “hate crimes” legislation???


10 posted on 02/24/2014 6:35:29 PM PST by Wuli
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To: Husker24

Has anyone read the 1st amendment?


11 posted on 02/24/2014 6:35:34 PM PST by SADMILLIE
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To: SADMILLIE

Yeah, but our beloved “public servants” don’t care. Whatever puts money into their pockets.


12 posted on 02/24/2014 6:40:04 PM PST by Politicalkiddo (Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. -M. Twain)
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To: Husker24
I’m sure this law won’t be abused.

A similar law passed in WA State a few years ago. A local police force [!!] tried to get charges against a civilian who created unflattering cartoons about members of the force! I think it was reported here in FR.

13 posted on 02/24/2014 6:45:09 PM PST by matt1234 (Hitler blamed the Jews. Obama blames the Tea Party.)
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To: Red Steel

I don’t know what the Hell is in the water or mountains in CO. But that state is seriously becoming California’s baby brother.


14 posted on 02/24/2014 7:06:56 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (15 years of FReeping! Congratulations EEE!!)
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To: Red Steel

Now define cyberbullying.

Our friends up north found out how fluid that definition is.
(Hint: a website just recently shut down)


15 posted on 02/24/2014 7:12:28 PM PST by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: Red Steel

Too many laws.


16 posted on 02/24/2014 7:16:16 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Fred Hayek
Now define cyberbullying.

With this law, only an accusation of mental distress.

17 posted on 02/24/2014 7:26:26 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

“I don’t know what the Hell is in the water or mountains in CO. But that state is seriously becoming California’s baby brother.”

The Kali people with a few bucks left Kali to get away from the wackiness; unfortunately, those people were also wacky so they’re turning Colorado into the same type of cesspool they thought they escaped. My son and DIL live in Colorado so I see it frequently - flower children, especially in Boulder.


18 posted on 02/24/2014 7:58:43 PM PST by Rembrandt (Part of the 51% who pay Federal taxes)
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To: Red Steel
“If this bill passes, at least we’ll know that even if our parents or our teachers aren’t listening, the state will be there for us.”


That right there says a lot.
19 posted on 02/24/2014 8:45:30 PM PST by Render
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To: Red Steel

Bullying, harassing, and threatening people is not “free speech.” Children have killed themselves over bullying, and people who have been bullied in the past often have continuing psychological issues. The internet has made bullying far more accessible and pervasive.

An adult can be arrested and prosecuted for harassing and threatening others. It is nonsensical to shrug off the same behavior by children and then pour salt in the wound by telling the victims to just shut up and submit to the bullying.


20 posted on 02/24/2014 8:49:50 PM PST by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: exDemMom

While I understand your perspective, more laws such as this is not the answer. Where are the parents in all of this? Why do these kids have unfiltered internet access? Why do they need to be on social networking sites?

I have a 10 year old and a 13 year old. Neither have complete unfiltered access to the Internet and neither are involved in social networking sights.


21 posted on 02/24/2014 8:58:39 PM PST by Render
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To: Render

Sadly, not all children have parents who are actively involved. Some are in a position where they feel that their parents would do nothing to help even if they were to talk about the situation, and believe that they have nowhere to go, no one to advocate for them.

Even with caring parents, if a child does not have unsupervised access to the internet, what about their phone? Many parents give a phone to their children to keep track of them—how hard is it for bullies to send them hateful text messages?

I think it is the wrong message to allow bullies unfettered access to their victims, while telling the victims and their families that they have no legal recourse and it is up to them to stop the bullying... if they can. Some families have had to move to remove their children from bullying situations.

Laws on bullying are long overdue, IMHO.


22 posted on 02/24/2014 9:17:00 PM PST by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: exDemMom

I have to agree with you.

Thing is, that parents are not getting their spoiled bullying brats into shape and since no one is taking responsibility, a new law has to be created to deal effectively with the issue.

Blame the enabling parents when things like this happen.


23 posted on 02/24/2014 9:26:07 PM PST by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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To: exDemMom
"Laws on bullying are long overdue, IMHO."
And in my honest opinion there are already way too many laws on the books. I believe we need to start eliminating many of these laws.

Again, I understand your perspective but more laws are not the answer.
24 posted on 02/24/2014 9:30:18 PM PST by Render
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To: Red Steel; All
"Messages sent to her Facebook page
included threats and “awful stuff like,
Go kill yourself,” Lowell said. "


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25 posted on 02/24/2014 9:35:43 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Fightin Whitey
Am I that bad? Hey, I'm sorry but you just bring abuse on yourself naturally, bro. ;^)

Who are these d-heads? Do they have websites? Someone needs to ream them new ones. I think that Fields moron is one of the anti-gun arsewipes who screwed the pooch last year. And by that I mean she does funny things with her dog.

26 posted on 02/24/2014 10:40:56 PM PST by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: TigersEye

No, of course I was kidding.

Very strange times we live in.

Age of weakness and decay.

If anything we need more samurai


27 posted on 02/25/2014 2:13:58 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: CorporateStepsister
Blame the enabling parents when things like this happen.

That gets into a whole nother can of worms. Are the parents aware of their child's behavior and letting it continue? Are they completely unaware until they get a call from the school principal? Have they been trying to deal with their child's behavior while the child resists any kind of correction?

Unfortunately, there are no standard situations.

28 posted on 02/25/2014 4:21:22 AM PST by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: Render

I would agree about the need to eliminate laws, but in this area, the laws have left a huge gap to the point where a child can be bullied to the point of suicide and there is no legal action possible against the perpetrator. In past cases, even when bullies have been arrested, they have walked because there is no legal framework with which to prosecute.

This link tells of a particularly horrible act of cyberbullying that caused a girl to commit suicide. The perpetrators were let off completely scot-free because there were no laws on the books to prohibit their acts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Megan_Meier

It is because of situations like this that people are demanding laws.


29 posted on 02/25/2014 4:37:07 AM PST by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: Fightin Whitey
No, of course I was kidding.

I know, so was I. lol

30 posted on 02/25/2014 11:32:44 AM PST by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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