Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) today praised the California Assembly for passing legislation which would give schools more tools to crack down on online bullying by students. Earlier this week, the Assembly passed AB1732 which would provide schools with more authority to punish students who bully their classmates using social networking sites.
"Our children are so wired into social networks today that they often type more messages than they speak each day," said Congresswoman Sánchez. "I applaud the Assembly for voting to close the loopholes in California's cyberbullying law. Bullying doesn't just take place in the schoolyard anymore. It's happening in the virtual world and our children can now be bullied any hour of the day or night--even in their own homes. This legislation is an important step in making California schools safer."
AB1732 would give schools the ability to suspend or expel students who engage in cyberbullying. The bill passed the Assembly 58-0 and the bill now moves to the California Senate.
In 2008 and 2009, Congresswoman Sánchez introduced the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act," which makes cyberbullying a federal crime. This legislation was named after a Missouri teenager, who committed suicide after being cyberbullied through a social networking website.
In 2011, Congresswoman Sánchez introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1648) which would require schools and school districts to ban bullying and harassment. Congresswoman Sánchez introduced The Safe Schools Improvement Act in the previous two sessions of Congress.