O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt signed a bill Monday outlawing cyberbullying, just miles from where a 13-year-old girl committed suicide nearly two years ago after being harassed on the Internet.
The bill updates state laws against harassment by removing the requirement that the communication be written or over the telephone. Supporters say the bill now covers harassment from computers, text messages and other electronic devices.
"Social networking sites and technology have opened a new door for criminals and bullies to prey on their victims, especially children," Blunt said. "This new law will ensure that we have the protections and penalties needed to safeguard Missourians from Internet harassment."
Megan Meier killed herself in October 2006, shortly after receiving mean-spirited messages over the Internet. Her suicide prompted the bill.