Bill Would Make Cyberbullying a Crime - 8 News NOW

Bill Would Make Cyberbullying a Crime

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LAS VEGAS -- Social media has added another layer to bullying endured by schoolchildren.

So-called fight videos are posted on the Internet for all to see and bullied children feel like they are being violated in more ways than one.

Currently, there is no clear definition and punishment of cyberbullying.

If a video of a local student pops up online, a Clark County School District Police investigation could take months and that's just to help the victim and reprimand the perpetrator.

A proposed law would change that.

The videos are a hot topic in Carson City, where Nevada lawmakers have convened to consider bills.

Not just because of the perpetrator, but the participants -- students who share the videos that often go viral.

2013 Nevada Legislature Bill Tracker

Former state Senator Valerie Wiener championed SB 414, a bill that a mother of a bullied girl said is overdue.

"I hope the bill passes," Cherie Anderson said. "I hope it passes in its entirety."

Anderson's daughter, 17-year-old Megan, fell prey to bullies.

"We didn't want to fight back and so they pushed us into the street, onto oncoming traffic," Megan said.

The bullying wasn't recorded, but Anderson said she quickly began homeschooling her daughter.

Her house rules: no cell phones or social media.

"It's appalling that parents give them the tools to be able to do that," Anderson said. "I, for one, don't think our youth need to be on social media sites."

Under the proposed bill, the first violation would include the juvenile court taking supervision of the child, although it wouldn't detain them.

A second offense would require the courts to take the child in custody and could place them in juvenile detention.

"I think we're all on the same page as to prohibiting these sickening acts that we watch on these videos," Wiener said.

There was overwhelming support for this bill Tuesday, but the final vote is expected Friday.

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