Ketron Tries New Approach on Cyberbullying

The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reports that Sen. Bill Ketron is alarmed by the two Middle Tennessee teenagers committing suicide, apparently after being the target of bullying because of their sexual orientation. And he has an idea on what to do about it.
Ketron sponsored a bill that passed in 2011 extending the state’s harassment statutes to offensive messages posted on the Internet. The law ran afoul of First Amendment defenders, including film critic Roger Ebert, so this session Ketron is backing two pieces of legislation to strengthen it.
“The main goal is to combat cyberbullying and prevent tragedies like the ones which have occurred recently in Tennessee from taking place,” Ketron said in a written statement.
The Murfreesboro Republican committed to making the law stronger last year and said the new legislation was drafted to prepare for an amendment that will make its wording better. He said he is meeting with the attorney general, ACLU-TN Executive Director Hedy Weinberg and others to address legal issues.
Citing a need for the law, Ketron points to examples of bullying that are shocking local communities, including the suicide of a 14-year-old Gordonsville boy who killed himself this month after being bullied constantly for being gay….. In December, a gay Ashland City teen also committed suicide because of bullying he received at Cheatham County High School.

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