"A Florida bill advanced in the Senate this week to make bullying a crime, including cyber-bullying online. The new offenses criminalize a range of “harassing” behavior, both in-person and on the Internet. And a second conviction would send perpetrators to jail for a year, criminalizing what is primarily a problem among youths.

The bill comes in response to concerns of escalating bullying, especially cyberbulling, and is named for 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who committed suicide in September 2013, after two teen peers allegedly harassed her over her dating of a particular boy. While Rebecca’s case did not involve LGBT harassment, bullying has been a particular concern among LGBT youth.

The bill establishes that someone who “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harasses or cyberbullies another person commits the offense of bullying” — a misdemeanor — and that those who engage in such harassment accompanied by a threat are guilty of a third-degree felony."

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/no-flori...#ixzz2vfB6pkEl

This article thinks that this is bad idea which will send the youths on a prison path in general without solving the problem. (The jail time is on a second offense, not the first.) It also thinks it will not help.

It does not say much about what you should do instead, but points out the many recent overzealous zero tolerance punishment lately.

What do you think? Is it ok to make it an offense, will it help, will it harm freedom of speech?