FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 18, 2012
Assembly Bill Prohibits Cyberbullying, Strengthens
Safety Net for New York's Students
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, and Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan today announced passage of legislation that will provide for a safer and more supportive learning environment by prohibiting bullying and cyberbullying of New York's students.
"Threats, intimidation, and abuse have no place in our schools," said Silver. "I am proud to announce Assembly passage of legislation that empowers school districts to better address harmful and hostile acts both on and off school grounds."
The bill (A.10712/O'Donnell) will protect students from cyberbullying as well as harassment and discrimination by requiring school districts to:
- establish protocols to respond to cyberbullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination, including designating a school official to receive and promptly
- take actions to prevent recurrences;
- coordinate with law enforcement when appropriate; and
- develop a bullying prevention strategy; and
- provide notice to all school community members of the school's policies. It would also set training requirements for current and new school employees.
"Children cannot succeed when they fear for their safety at school, worry about being bullied or cyberbullied, or suffer discrimination and taunts," said O'Donnell. "Especially given the pervasive impact of social media on our kids, I offer my heartfelt praise for this expansion of the Dignity for All Students Act. We owe it to the youth of New York to expand the safety net that surrounds their growth and development."
"New York's students deserve a secure and compassionate learning environment," said Nolan. "In passing this bill, we are acknowledging that intimidating behavior that takes place outside our schools can have a profound effect on the health and well-being of our students."