SB128, proposed by Senator Kevin Meyer, would criminalize harassment of a minor through electronic communication a class B, second-degree misdemeanor. Essentially, this bill makes it illegal for those under 18 years old to use electronics to bully others. Anything that causes “severe mental or emotional injury” or makes a person feel threatened can be considered bullying.
In his supporting statement, Senator Meyer states that although current legislation allow “some forms of bullying to be handled within the school system,” other types of bullying occur outside of the classroom. With social networking becoming more prevalent in our lives, this law will allow the authorities to better address the problems of increasing cases of cyberbullying.
Meyer believes that SB128 will provide more authority for punishing bullies and protecting children.
This bill was passed 19-0 by the Alaska Senate on Wednesday. It will now go to the House.