A comuter keyboard is seen – File / Photo: Ami Vitale/Getty Images
Reporting Fran Schneidau
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.
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