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Pennsylvania governor signs cyber-bullying act

The Internet has made an incredible difference in our daily lives. Unfortunately, not all of it is positive. For kids who are bullied online, the harassment may seem as though it never ends. Now, students can continue to be attacked online after school, during the night and on the weekends. Social media posts can turn up at any time, as can text messages.

The governor of Pennsylvania has signed Act 26 into law that will go into effect in September. It's taken about three years for this to end up on the governor's desk. The sponsor of the bill, State Representative Ron Marsico, said, "We hope to put a stop to it by bringing attention to the citizens of Pennsylvania that this is a serious crime and a punishable offense." Many representatives received complaints from teachers, parents and students who felt that a stringent law was needed to keep kids safer.

According to the bill, malicious statements about how a child looks, one's sexuality, sexual activity or physical health will be a third-degree misdemeanor. The possible penalties include jail time and a fine.

Many schools have added anti-bully lessons their curriculum. Incentive programs have also been used to help students put an end to this behavior. Fake money is handed out that the students can use in a school store.

If you are facing such a charge, an attorney can provide advice on how to proceed. This could have an effect on your future and could even limit your job choices in the future. An attorney can develop a defense that will stand strong against the charges.

Source: Education News, "Pennsylvania’s Wolf Signs Anti-Cyberbullying Legislation," Jordan E. Wassell, accessed March 18, 2016

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