State lawmakers say they will tackle the difficult issue of Internet harassment during the upcoming session.
An Internet Harassment Task Force formed by the governor has been listening to experts and reviewing suggestions for legislation. Sen. Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) has prefiled a bill adding telecommunications to current stalking and harassment laws. Rupp says the bill is a work in progress, but the current thought is that present law can prove effective if brought up to 21st Century technology.
Much attention has been focused on the case of Megan Meier, the 13-year-old girl from Dardenne Prairie who hanged herself after a boy she knew only through Internet chat turned on her, replacing praise with insults. The boy wasn’t real, but was the creation of adults getting back at Megan for snubbing their daughter.
Rupp doesn’t want the focus to be on the tragic Megan Meier case. He says that one was so unusual it would be difficult to base legislation on it. upp says the task force will do much of the work so that legislation can be ready for consideration during the session that begins next month.