Mother of local girl who killed herself talks cyberbullying with police

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 5:40 PM

(KMOV) – Officers from dozens of local police departments in the St. Louis area on Wednesday will learn about cyber-bullying from a Missouri mom whose daughter took her own life.

Tina Meier has been very active in her fight against bullying since 2006 when her daughter, Megan, killed herself after being bullied online.

Meier will lead Wednesday’s event involving officers from 25 different departments because she wants police to realize just how traumatic the situations can be for teens.

To share their experiences and tips for cutting back on the bullying, more and more often families are relying on police to intervene.

Whether it’s with legal action or conflict resolution, educators and school resource officers are trained for them.

“In many cases there’s a conflict resolution we’re brought in to help deal with simply because a lot of these occur out of our jurisdiction or even in the school,” said Capt. Kevin Murphy with the Clayton Police Dept.

Meier told News 4 is important for all police officers to learn about the issue.

“Once you hear about things from a first person it leaves more of an emotional impact,” said Meier, who runs the Megan Meier Foundation

Murphy said the worst cases are when a group of teens gangs up on one student, taking on a sort of gang mentality. He said that’s what prompts severe isolation and can create very dangerous situations.

In Megan’s case, an adult neighbor, Lori Drew, her daughter and a friend were linked to a MySpace page concocted to appear to be that of a teenage boy. “Josh” initially flirted with Megan but then made hurtful comments shortly before she hanged herself.

A jury in California, where MySpace has its servers, found Drew guilty of three federal misdemeanors, but a judge overturned the verdicts and acquitted her.

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