Town Aldermen Declare Online Harassment a Crime
Future CyberBullies Face Up To 90 Days in Jail
Teen’s Suicide Prompts Action
The fallout over the Megan Meier’s MySpace incident continues:
DARDENNE PRAIRIE â€¢ City officials declared online harassment a crime Wednesday, fewer than two weeks after they learned of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself after receiving hurtful messages on a popular social networking website.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance making online harassment a misdemeanor in this city of about 5,500.
“It is our hope that by supporting one of our own in Dardenne Prairie, we can do our part to ensure this type of harassing behavior never happens again, anywhere,” said Mayor Pam Fogarty. “After all, harassment is harassment regardless of the mechanism or tool.”
The ordinance basically covers all forms of electronic communication, i.e. the internet, email, text messaging and paging. A maximum fine of $500.00 and up to 90 days in jail.
The St. Charles Suburban Journal article went on to name the persons Megan’s parents believe are responsible for the online hoax, neighbors of the Meier’s, Lori Drew, her daughter, an ex-friend of Megan’s, and Ashley Grill, an 18-year-old employee of Drew’s.
No one has been charged with a crime. The county prosecutor is still reviewing the case.
The details of the online harassment of Megan Meier triggered nationwide interest this past week as details came out of suburban St. Louis.
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