House Okays Inclusion of Cyberbullying in Policies

JANUARY 23, 2007 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The sponsor of a measure approved in the House to require school districts to ban bullying via the Internet says she'll amend the bill in the Senate to deal with concerns about schools regulating activity that may occur off-campus. The bill by Representative Shirley Walters of Greenwood was approved yesterday on a 91-to-7 vote.

The proposal defines cyberbullying as threatening or intimidating students using Web sites, chat rooms, text messaging or other online means. The bill does not specify how school districts would enforce the ban or how they would track bullying online.

The Arkansas chapter of the ACLU has warned that the proposal may violate students' constitutional rights by allowing schools to regulate off-campus activities.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)