As federal prosecutors in California begin trying a Missouri woman on charges of online fraud in connection with the suicide of a teenager, a bill to more directly confront cyber bullying remains in a congressional subcommittee, reports the First Amendment Center. The Megan Meier Cyber Bullying Prevention Act, introduced in May by Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., would amend Title 18 of the United States Code to punish electronic harassment. The bill, named after the Missouri teen who was the victim of a MySpace hoax and subsequently committed suicide in 2006, remains in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. "Without a federal law making cyber bullying a crime, cyber bullies are going unpunished," Sanchez said in a May 22 press release. Thirteen states already have laws on cyber bullying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Missouri is the latest state to enact such legislation, in July, after the high-profile suicide of St. Louis teenager Meier. State laws regarding cyber bullying vary in extent. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho, Missouri, and Oklahoma are stricter than other states in identifying cyber bullying as an illegal act. Other states, such as Arkansas and Iowa, require schools to include cyber bullying in their anti-harassment policies. Free-speech advocates have questioned the constitutionality of cyber bullying legislation…

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