Dickerson will continue to push cyberbullying bill

CONYERS -- A House Bill that would make it illegal to wrongfully identify a person in an obscene depiction without their knowledge ended the 2012 legislative session in committee, but the bill's sponsor plans to continue to work for its passage.

State Rep. Pam Dickerson, D-Conyers, said at a legislative breakfast Thursday that she believes the bill is necessary to address cyberbullying.

"Once I introduced the bill, my face was put on nude bodies and put on Facebook and the Internet and everywhere else," Dickerson said at the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce forum. "So to me, that validated my bill."

Dickerson's bill was inspired by the experiences of Kelsey Upton, a 17-year-old Newton County girl whose cell phone number and personal information were attached to a photo on a pornographic website. Because the posting was not illegal, no criminal charges were brought against the male college student who posted her information.

In addition to the legislation, Dickerson will host a Cyberbullying Rally at Newton County High School on May 7, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Participants at the rally will include representative from Montlick & Associates, Children Without a Voice, and the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Dickerson said Upton will be honored at the rally for her courage and for being an advocate for the legislation.