"The girls involved likely now understand the wrongful nature of what they did and the harm that can come of such conduct," he said. "They made a donation out of their allowances to a charitable organization that fights against cyberbullying."
In Georgia, lawmakers have given school administrators new powers to punish students if they bully others at school, but legislation that would expand the laws to include text messages and social media sites never reached a vote this year.
Seven states have added off-campus harassment to their bullying laws in recent years, though Georgia is not one of them.
"Cyberbullying really goes beyond the four walls of the school or the four corners of the campus, because if you use a cellphone, PDA or social media site, then those activities follow the child both into the school and out of the school," said House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, a Democrat from Atlanta who co-sponsored the legislation that would have expanded Georgia's bullying law. "It's important for the state to really get ahead of this. It's already happening, but it's going to be more exacerbated and more difficult the longer we go."
Alex and her family have started a petition to encourage lawmakers to strengthen Georgia's law. Her lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
"At first blush, you wouldn't think it's a big deal," said Alex's attorney, Natalie Woodward. "Once you actually see the stuff that's on there, it's shocking."
Follow Greg Bluestein at http://www.twitter.com/bluestein and Dorie Turner at http://www.twitter.com/dorieturner.
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