Valentine’s Day becomes a message for legislation against bullying

In 2006, St. Louis-area teenager Megan Meier committed suicide after being bullied on MySpace, prompting a barrage of anti Cyber-bullying legislation from cities, states and Congress.

Now, the Safe Schools Coalition is using Valentine’s Day to promote recently introduced legislation at the Missouri Capitol that it says contains needed fixes to the state’s bullying laws. At 2:30 p.m. today in the House Lobby, both Democrats and Republicans, along with the coalition, will announce separate bills to address bullying.

One of the biggest things that the 40-member Safe Schools Coalition would like to see addressed in a bill is the enumeration — or listing — of the various types of bullying, said Morgan Keenan, coalition coordinator.

“Right now in Missouri, we have a vague law when it comes to bullying,” Keenan said. “Instead of just talking about it in general terms, we need to talk about racism, sexism, homophobia.”

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A bill that would accomplish that is House Bill 460, introduced by Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield.

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