Students Urge Ohio Lawmakers To Approve Cyber-Bullying Law

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UPDATED: Tuesday February 25, 2014 8:49 PM

A growing number of teenagers are victims of cyber-bullying.  That's when they're harassed on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

On Tuesday, students went to the statehouse to push for a cyber-bullying bill.

"Nothing is being done with cyber bullying," said Cashlin Bolden. "People are getting away with it."

Bolden is just one of a group of students representing 30 high schools who told lawmakers that they need to push for more anti-cyber bullying laws.

"I know a few people in my school that go through things like this so being able to speak out about cyber bullying is awesome," said Bolden.

The students are part of a movement called WhoaMan.

Tyrone White, a former football coach, came up with the idea.

"Whoa means to stop," said White. "And also to start to stand up for those not actively involved in abusing women they can stand up and speak out against it."

Marie Klein is a WhoaMan leader.

She says she's tired of reading sexist jokes and comments online, some of which lead to cyber bullying.

"This is really prevailing because our age group is constantly on social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram you name it we're on it, and it's 24 hours a day 7 days a week," said Klein.

The bill - which would make electronic harassment illegal - passed the House last year.

But opponents worry about its 1st Amendment issues.

"The lawyers we've had look at this legislation are not satisfied that it would pass constitutional muster," said Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association.  "It could be interpreted in certain situations to hold a media outlet, a newspaper, a radio station, a television station liable for harassing or inciting someone to bully and we think it needs to be clarified."

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