JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Several Missouri lawmakers say the state should strengthen its laws against bullying in schools and expand them to include cyberbullying.

House Republican Sue Allen, of St. Louis County, says districts should have policies against cyberbullying, in which students send hurtful text messages, emails or web postings to other students.

Allen said during a committee hearing Tuesday that such bullying is just as hurtful as physical or in-person intimidation.

Springfield Democrat Sara Lampe and Nixa Republican Ray Weter say on-campus anti-bullying laws should also be changed.

Lampe says the laws should specifically protect students who are bullied because of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Weter’s bill would allow victims of bullying to take legal action against the person intimidating them.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


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