Lucido launches cyberbullying resource website

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter J. Lucido on Friday announced the launch of a new cyberbullying resource at www.StopMICyberBully.com.

The site provides readers general information about cyberbullying, Michigan’s new law establishing cyberbullying as a crime, how to report cyberbullying incidents, and additional resources.

“I am happy to launch www.StopMICyberBully.com to help people learn more about cyberbullying, our new anti-cyberbullying law, and who to contact if someone has been cyberbullied,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “Cyberbullying is a growing problem in Michigan and throughout the country. This type of threatening behavior is unacceptable and seriously impacts our young people, students and even adults — lives are being cut short because of the torment of cyber bullies.”

Legislation sponsored by Lucido and approved in 2018 recently took effect in March. The law makes it a misdemeanor to post a message or statement online with the intention of threatening to commit violence against someone. Continued harassment and intimidation can result in a felony, if such action causes serious injury or death.

A person charged with a misdemeanor for cyberbullying could be punished with up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense, while additional violations carry penalties of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

If the online intimidation escalates to an assault or serious injury, offenders may be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the offense leads to a fatality, the felony could be punishable with up to a 10-year sentence and a $10,000 fine.

According to the National Center for Education, 20% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 experience some form of cyberbullying. If you or a loved one have been a victim of cyberbullying, you should contact your local law enforcement office. You can find contact information for your police or sheriff’s department here.

“It’s time we held these perpetrators accountable for their actions,” Lucido said. “And in Michigan, we are.”

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