SANTA FE (KRQE) - The days of school yard bullying could be entering new territory.
If Rep. Mary Helen Garcia , D-Las Cruces, her way bullies could be heading to the principal's office and to jail, too.
But this law wouldn't just affect kids. Adults also could be on the hook too.
Garcia told KRQE News 13 the Internet and mobile devices have made bullying far easier. It's time the state put something on the books to try and stop it, she said.
Garcia's bill , if it becomes law, would make bullying a misdemeanor in New Mexico whether it's done online or in person.
That would mean someone convicted of bullying could get up to a year in prison.
Garcia said the change is important because of cases like that of a Roosevelt Middle School student who shot himself in the head last year. Albuquerque investigators said bullying was a big factor.
"Bullying can affect adults just as well as it can children," Garcia said.
It's happening across the country.
In 2006, a Missouri mom used MySpace to bully a 13-year-old who ultimately committed suicide.
Missouri state prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to show the mother violated any state law.
Garcia wants to be sure New Mexico prosecutors don't run into the same problem.
"It's very important now ... considering the suicides that are taking place not only in the state but nationally" Garcia said.
Garcia believes making bullying its own crime would help victims come forward and make sure bullies are held accountable.
"They would have to take responsibility for their own actions," Garcia said.
Garcia tried a similar bill two years ago, but it died in the House Judiciary Committee, the same committee it has to go through this year.
Gov. Susana Martinez expressed skepticism in a statement saying many elements of bullying are already crimes and that prosecuting some forms of bullying could be difficult.
Garcia's bill isn't the only one tackling bullying.
A District Court judge has ordered city leaders respond to a petition filed by an animal activist on the city's trap-neuter-return approach of managing feral cats.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.
Department of Agriculture officials are warning customers to not get burned when buying firewood.
Church groups, parents and teachers met Sunday at the 20th annual Albuquerque Interfaith Convention. State education reform was their central focus.