AL House passes cyberbullying legislation

AL House passes cyberbullying legislation
Jamari Williams is the reason the Alabama Legislature is working to pass a cyberbullying bill. (Source: DoingItForJamari.com)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill focused on protecting children against cyberbullying and harassment off school grounds.

State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, introduced HB366, also known as the Jamari Terrell Williams Act, in honor of a 10-year-old boy who committed suicide in 2017 after he was bullied.

Knight's legislation expands the current statute to prevent student against student harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence to students off campus as well. It also specifically includes cyberbullying in the definition of harassment.

"I found most of my colleagues across the state were interested in making certain that we place something in the law where people understand cyberbullying and bullying period is a crime," Knight said. "We are serious about our children having an opportunity to go to a safe school in a safe environment and being free of any bullying so there will be a conducive .learning environment."

The bill will now move to the Senate.

Jamari Williams' mother has started a foundation to work with city officials, schools, churches, and other organizations to put an end to bullying and to prevent suicide in children and young adults.

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