TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida House panel has cleared a bill that would include "cyberbullying" under the state's anti-bullying law.
The House Education committee Friday passed the bill (HB 609) by a vote of 14-0.
The state defines bullying as "inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress." School districts already have to adopt policies prohibiting bullying and other harassment in schools. The bill extends protection from bullying when it is done using computers connected to the Internet.
The latest version of the bill was amended to clarify that bullying using computers off of school grounds has to "substantially interfere with or limit" a student's in-school activities to be covered. It's also covered if it disrupts the educational process.
Sixteen other states' anti-bullying laws already address cyberbullying.
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