msnbc | March 27, 2012
>>> after a flood of controversy, the new documentary "bully" will be released and released without a rating. the weinstein company now says the film will hit theaters without the original rating, and that means some theaters may not choose to show it.
>>> meantime, lawmakers in at least five states are trying to stiffen or enact cyber bullying laws. i'm joined now by delaware attorney general bo biden. bo, it's nice to see you this morning.
>> great to be with you, thomas .
>> let's talk specifically about the state of delaware , meetings under way now to decide how a new cyber bullying policy would regulate off-campus behavior. now, the department of education says jurisdiction is restricted to acts committed using school-owned computers. explain how this new policy would work.
>> well, what we're trying to do, actually, here in the state of delaware along with my friend, lieutenant governor, we'll work with the school districts , parents and communities to figure out whether or not we can have a statewide integrated policy like a lot of states, thomas , as you know, school districts and school boards run the systems. we have 19 separate districts in our state. so what the lieutenant governor and others are trying to do is come up with a uniform policy that can be acceptable to each of the school districts to come up with how to deal with the cyber bullying issue. as you know, because you've covered this so well over the months and years, cyber bullying , 1 million kids are cyber bullied every year. 1 million kids. so this is an issue we've got to deal with head on and figure out a way to grapple with the new realities of the wonderful social media we have.
>> it's such a double-edged sword when you think about how social media has connected everybody but also how it has tormented kids because they can't get away from the bullying. it gets funneled into their houses. i do want to get your opinion on the film "bully." several activists petitioned the mpaa to lower the "r" rating it delivered so more kids can see the film. now they're going to release it without this rating. that means some theaters may choose not to show the film. what do you make of this debate and how it was intended to be seen by kids and now it may not be by the intended audience it's made for?
>> well, to be honest with you, i'm not been following the controversy that closely. the ratings -- this ratings debate. what i do know is that kids and parents need to hear the message of how we intervene and stop bullying. when you have one in three children in middle school and high school bullied every day, one in three children in middle school and high school bullied every day, with 160,000 kids estimated every day staying home from school because of bullying, it's a serious problem. so any way we can communicate to school districts , parents and bullies about how we -- you know, measures to stop this, you know, we need to look hard about ways we can do that.
>> beau, i want to switch gears to what's taking place in washington and health care and the supreme court . 26 states are challenging the president's health care law , including people in your home state of delaware saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something they don't want. what's your reaction?
>> well, my reaction is to let the supreme court hear the arguments today made by the solicitor general of the united states of america and those on the other side of this issue. i've signed amicus briefs in support of the affordable health care act. you know, the series of today and tomorrow and of course yesterday, you're going to hear it all laid out. and we'll get a decision from the supreme court soon. i'm hopeful that the supreme court will uphold the constitutionality of it under the commerce clause . look, when people in america know that $43 billion is spent each year on behalf of the uninsured with an average cost of $1,000 per family, i don't know of a more interstate commerce issue that exists than this one. in terms of its effect on all americans. throughout the states.
>> beau, thanks for making time for us this morning. we appreciate it.
>> thanks, thomas . thanks for having me on.