S07740 Summary:

BILL NOS07740
 
SAME ASSAME AS UNI. A10712
 
SPONSORSALAND
 
COSPNSRRANZENHOFER, KLEIN, CARLUCCI, GALLIVAN, HUNTLEY, KENNEDY, LANZA, LARKIN, NOZZOLIO, ROBACH
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd SS11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 801-a, Ed L
 
Prohibits bullying and cyberbullying in public schools.
Go to top    

S07740 Actions:

BILL NOS07740
 
06/15/2012REFERRED TO RULES
06/18/2012ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1301
06/18/2012PASSED SENATE
06/18/2012DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
06/18/2012referred to education
06/18/2012substituted for a10712
06/18/2012ordered to third reading rules cal.376
06/18/2012passed assembly
06/18/2012returned to senate
07/09/2012DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
07/09/2012SIGNED CHAP.102
Go to top

S07740 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
            S. 7740                                                 A. 10712
 
                SENATE - ASSEMBLY
 
                                      June 15, 2012
                                       ___________
 
        IN  SENATE  --  Introduced  by  Sens.  SALAND, RANZENHOFER, KLEIN -- (at
          request of the Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed,  and  when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
 
        IN  ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of
          A. O'Donnell, Nolan) -- (at request of the Governor) -- read once  and
          referred to the Committee on Education
 

        AN  ACT  to amend the education law, in relation to prohibiting bullying
          and cyberbullying in public schools
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1. Legislative findings and intent. In recent years, New York
     2  state has taken steps to ensure that school pupils, teachers  and  other
     3  personnel  are  provided  with  a  safe and secure learning environment.
     4  However, the legislature recognizes that egregious incidents of  harass-
     5  ment, bullying and discrimination, both in person and through the use of
     6  technology,  continue  to  disrupt  the  lives and education of students
     7  across the state, and that bullying manifests in many  forms,  including
     8  through the use of technology in what is often called cyberbullying.  In

     9  today's  age  of  advanced technology, twenty-four hour connectivity and
    10  social networking, students who are subjected to bullying, such  as  the
    11  texting  or  posting  of  sexually  derogatory  comments via such social
    12  networking sites or by other means,  have  no  reprieve.  Bullying  that
    13  begins  in  school  follows  students  home  every  day, and has lasting
    14  impacts on such students. Conversely, bullying through the use of  tech-
    15  nology can begin away from school property.
    16    The  legislature  also  recognizes  that most cyberbullying originates
    17  off-campus, but nonetheless affects the school environment and  disrupts
    18  the  educational  process, impeding the ability of students to learn and
    19  too often causing devastating effects on students' health  and  well-be-
    20  ing.
    21    The legislature finds it is vital to protect all students from harass-

    22  ment,  bullying,  cyberbullying  and  discrimination.   In expanding the
    23  provisions of the Dignity for All Students Act, the legislature  intends
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD12130-08-2

        S. 7740                             2                           A. 10712
 
     1  to  give school districts tools to address these harmful acts consistent
     2  with the emerging  research  in  the  field.  Bullying,  harassment  and
     3  discrimination  pose a serious threat to all students, including but not
     4  limited to students targeted because of actual or perceived race, color,
     5  weight,  national  origin,  ethnic  group, religion, religious practice,

     6  disability, sexual orientation, gender  or  sex.  It  is  imperative  to
     7  protect  every  student from such harm regardless of whether the student
     8  is a member of a specific category.
     9    § 2. Subdivision 7 of section 11 of the education  law,  as  added  by
    10  chapter  482  of the laws of 2010, is amended and a new subdivision 8 is
    11  added to read as follows:
    12    7. "Harassment" and "bullying" shall mean the creation  of  a  hostile
    13  environment  by  conduct  or by [verbal] threats, intimidation or abuse,
    14  including cyberbullying, that (a) has or would have the effect of unrea-
    15  sonably and  substantially  interfering  with  a  student's  educational
    16  performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical
    17  well-being; or [conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that] (b)

    18  reasonably  causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to
    19  fear for his or her physical  safety;  [such  conduct,  verbal  threats,
    20  intimidation  or  abuse  includes  but is not limited to conduct, verbal
    21  threats, intimidation] or [abuse] (c) reasonably causes or would reason-
    22  ably be expected to  cause  physical  injury  or  emotional  harm  to  a
    23  student; or (d) occurs off school property and creates or would foresee-
    24  ably  create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environ-
    25  ment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or
    26  abuse might reach school property. Acts of harassment and bullying shall
    27  include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person's actual or

    28  perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group,  religion,
    29  religious  practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.  For
    30  the purposes of this  definition  the  term  "threats,  intimidation  or
    31  abuse" shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.
    32    8.  "Cyberbullying"  shall  mean  harassment or bullying as defined in
    33  subdivision seven of this section, including paragraphs  (a),  (b),  (c)
    34  and  (d)  of  such subdivision, where such harassment or bullying occurs
    35  through any form of electronic communication.
    36    § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 12 of the education  law,  as  added  by
    37  chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    38    1.  No student shall be subjected to harassment or bullying by employ-

    39  ees or students on school property or at a school  function;  nor  shall
    40  any student be subjected to discrimination based on a person's actual or
    41  perceived  race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion,
    42  religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender,  or  sex  by
    43  school employees or students on school property or at a school function.
    44  Nothing  in  this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a denial of
    45  admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction  based  on  a
    46  person's  gender  that  would  be  permissible  under section thirty-two
    47  hundred one-a or paragraph (a) of subdivision  two  of  section  twenty-
    48  eight  hundred  fifty-four of this chapter and title IX of the Education
    49  Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. section 1681, et. seq.), or  to  prohibit,
    50  as discrimination based on disability, actions that would be permissible

    51  under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
    52    §  4.  Section 13 of the education law, as added by chapter 482 of the
    53  laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    54    § 13. Policies and guidelines. The board of education and the trustees
    55  or sole trustee of every school district shall create  policies,  proce-
    56  dures and guidelines that shall include, but not be limited to:

        S. 7740                             3                           A. 10712
 
     1    1.  Policies  and  procedures  intended to create a school environment
     2  that is  free  from  [discrimination  or]  harassment[;],  bullying  and
     3  discrimination, that include but are not limited to provisions which:
     4    a. identify the principal, superintendent or the principal's or super-

     5  intendent's  designee  as  the  school  employee  charged with receiving
     6  reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination;
     7    b. enable students and parents to make an oral or  written  report  of
     8  harassment,  bullying  or discrimination to teachers, administrators and
     9  other school personnel that the school district deems appropriate;
    10    c. require  school  employees  who  witness  harassment,  bullying  or
    11  discrimination,  or  receive  an  oral  or written report of harassment,
    12  bullying or discrimination, to promptly  orally  notify  the  principal,
    13  superintendent or the principal's or superintendent's designee not later
    14  than  one  school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a

    15  report of harassment, bullying or discrimination, and to file a  written
    16  report  with  the  principal,  superintendent or the principal or super-
    17  intendent's designee not later than two school days  after  making  such
    18  oral report;
    19    d.  require the principal, superintendent or the principal's or super-
    20  intendent's designee to lead or supervise the thorough investigation  of
    21  all  reports  of  harassment, bullying and discrimination, and to ensure
    22  that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any writ-
    23  ten reports made under this section;
    24    e. require the school, when an investigation reveals any such verified
    25  harassment, bullying or discrimination, to take prompt  actions  reason-

    26  ably calculated to end the harassment, bullying or discrimination, elim-
    27  inate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and
    28  climate,  prevent  recurrence  of the behavior, and ensure the safety of
    29  the student or  students  against  whom  such  harassment,  bullying  or
    30  discrimination  was directed.  Such actions shall be consistent with the
    31  guidelines created pursuant to subdivision four of this section;
    32    f. prohibit retaliation against any individual  who,  in  good  faith,
    33  reports,  or  assists  in  the investigation of, harassment, bullying or
    34  discrimination;
    35    g. include a school  strategy  to  prevent  harassment,  bullying  and
    36  discrimination;

    37    h.  require  the principal to make a regular report on data and trends
    38  related to harassment, bullying and discrimination  to  the  superinten-
    39  dent;
    40    i.  require the principal, superintendent or the principal's or super-
    41  intendent's designee, to  notify  promptly  the  appropriate  local  law
    42  enforcement  agency  when  such principal, superintendent or the princi-
    43  pal's or superintendent's designee, believes that any harassment, bully-
    44  ing or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct;
    45    j. include appropriate references to  the  provisions  of  the  school
    46  district's  code  of  conduct  adopted  pursuant to section twenty-eight
    47  hundred one of this chapter that are relevant  to  harassment,  bullying
    48  and discrimination;

    49    k.  require  each  school,  at  least once during each school year, to
    50  provide all school employees, students and parents  with  a  written  or
    51  electronic  copy  of  the school district's policies created pursuant to
    52  this section, or a plain-language summary thereof,  including  notifica-
    53  tion  of the process by which students, parents and school employees may
    54  report harassment, bullying and discrimination.  This subdivision  shall
    55  not be construed to require additional distribution of such policies and

        S. 7740                             4                           A. 10712
 
     1  guidelines  if  they  are  otherwise  distributed  to  school employees,
     2  students and parents;

     3    l. maintain current versions of the school district's policies created
     4  pursuant  to  this section on the school district's internet website, if
     5  one exists;
     6    2. Guidelines to be used in school training programs to discourage the
     7  development of [discrimination or] harassment,  bullying  and  discrimi-
     8  nation, and to make school employees aware of the effects of harassment,
     9  bullying,  cyberbullying  and  discrimination  on  students and that are
    10  designed:
    11    a. to raise the awareness  and  sensitivity  of  school  employees  to
    12  potential  [discrimination  or] harassment, bullying and discrimination,
    13  and
    14    b. to enable employees to prevent and respond to  [discrimination  or]
    15  harassment, bullying and discrimination; and

    16    3.   Guidelines  relating  to  the  development  of  nondiscriminatory
    17  instructional and counseling methods, and requiring that  at  least  one
    18  staff  member  at  every  school  be  thoroughly trained to handle human
    19  relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national  origin,  ethnic
    20  group,  religion,  religious  practice,  disability, sexual orientation,
    21  gender, and sex[.]; and
    22    4. Guidelines relating to the development of  measured,  balanced  and
    23  age-appropriate  responses  to  instances  of  harassment,  bullying  or
    24  discrimination by students, with remedies  and  procedures  following  a
    25  progressive  model that make appropriate use of intervention, discipline
    26  and education, vary in method according to the nature of  the  behavior,

    27  the  developmental age of the student and the student's history of prob-
    28  lem behaviors, and are consistent with the district's code  of  conduct;
    29  and
    30    5. Training required by this section shall address the social patterns
    31  of harassment, bullying and discrimination, as defined in section eleven
    32  of  this  article,  including  but  not limited to those acts based on a
    33  person's actual or  perceived  race,  color,  weight,  national  origin,
    34  ethnic  group,  religion,  religious practice, disability, sexual orien-
    35  tation, gender or sex, the identification and mitigation of  harassment,
    36  bullying  and  discrimination, and strategies for effectively addressing
    37  problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.

    38    § 5. Section 14 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
    39  laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    40    § 14. Commissioner's responsibilities. The commissioner shall:
    41    1.  Provide direction, which may include development of model policies
    42  and, to the  extent  possible,  direct  services,  to  school  districts
    43  related  to  preventing  [discrimination  and]  harassment, bullying and
    44  discrimination and to fostering an environment in every school where all
    45  children can learn free of manifestations of bias;
    46    2. Provide grants, from funds appropriated for such purpose, to  local
    47  school districts to assist them in implementing the guidelines set forth
    48  in this section; [and]
    49    3.  Promulgate  regulations to assist school districts in implementing

    50  this article including, but not limited to, regulations to assist school
    51  districts  in  developing  measured,   balanced,   and   age-appropriate
    52  responses  to  violations  of  this policy, with remedies and procedures
    53  [focusing on] following a progressive model that make appropriate use of
    54  intervention, discipline and education[.] and provide  guidance  related
    55  to the application of regulations; and

        S. 7740                             5                           A. 10712
 
     1    4.  Provide  guidance  and  educational  materials to school districts
     2  related to best practices in addressing cyberbullying and helping  fami-
     3  lies  and  communities  work  cooperatively  with  schools in addressing

     4  cyberbullying, whether on or off school property or at or  away  from  a
     5  school function.
     6    5.  The  commissioner  shall prescribe regulations that school profes-
     7  sionals applying on or after July first, two  thousand  thirteen  for  a
     8  certificate  or  license,  including but not limited to a certificate or
     9  license valid for service as  a  classroom  teacher,  school  counselor,
    10  school  psychologist,  school  social  worker,  school  administrator or
    11  supervisor or superintendent of schools shall, in addition to all  other
    12  certification  or licensing requirements, have completed training on the
    13  social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination,  as  defined
    14  in  section  eleven  of this article, including but not limited to those

    15  acts based on a  person's  actual  or  perceived  race,  color,  weight,
    16  national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability,
    17  sexual  orientation, gender or sex, the identification and mitigation of
    18  harassment, bullying and discrimination, and strategies for  effectively
    19  addressing  problems  of  exclusion,  bias and aggression in educational
    20  settings.
    21    § 6. Section 15 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
    22  laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    23    §  15.  Reporting  by  commissioner.  The  commissioner shall create a
    24  procedure under which material incidents of [discrimination and] harass-
    25  ment, bullying and discrimination on school grounds or at a school func-

    26  tion are reported to the department at least on an  annual  basis.  Such
    27  procedure shall provide that such reports shall, wherever possible, also
    28  delineate  the  specific nature of such incidents of [discrimination or]
    29  harassment, bullying and discrimination, provided that the  commissioner
    30  may  comply  with  the  requirements  of this section through use of the
    31  existing uniform violent incident reporting system.    In  addition  the
    32  department  may  conduct  research  or  undertake  studies  to determine
    33  compliance throughout the state with the provisions of this article.
    34    § 7. Section 16 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
    35  laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    36    §  16. Protection of people who report [discrimination or] harassment,

    37  bullying or discrimination.   Any  person  having  reasonable  cause  to
    38  suspect that a student has been subjected to [discrimination or] harass-
    39  ment,  bullying  or discrimination, by an employee or student, on school
    40  grounds or at a school function, who,  acting  reasonably  and  in  good
    41  faith,  [either]  reports  such  information to school officials, to the
    42  commissioner[,] or to law enforcement authorities,  acts  in  compliance
    43  with  paragraph  e  or  i of subdivision one of section thirteen of this
    44  article, or otherwise initiates, testifies, participates or  assists  in
    45  any  formal or informal proceedings under this article, shall have immu-
    46  nity from any civil liability that may arise from  the  making  of  such

    47  report  or  from  initiating,  testifying, participating or assisting in
    48  such formal or informal proceedings, and no school district or  employee
    49  shall  take,  request  or  cause  a  retaliatory action against any such
    50  person who, acting reasonably and in good faith,  either  makes  such  a
    51  report  or  initiates, testifies, participates or assists in such formal
    52  or informal proceedings.
    53    § 8. Section 801-a of the education law, as amended by chapter 482  of
    54  the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    55    § 801-a. Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education.
    56  The  regents  shall  ensure  that  the  course  of instruction in grades

        S. 7740                             6                           A. 10712
 
     1  kindergarten through twelve includes a component on  civility,  citizen-

     2  ship  and character education. Such component shall instruct students on
     3  the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal  responsibility,  respect
     4  for  others, with an emphasis on discouraging acts of harassment, bully-
     5  ing, discrimination, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and
     6  other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and
     7  contributions to, the community. Such component shall  include  instruc-
     8  tion  of  safe,  responsible use of the internet and electronic communi-
     9  cations. The regents shall determine how to incorporate  such  component
    10  in  existing  curricula  and the commissioner shall promulgate any regu-
    11  lations needed to carry out such determination of the regents.  For  the
    12  purposes  of this section, "tolerance," "respect for others" and "digni-

    13  ty" shall include  awareness  and  sensitivity  to  [discrimination  or]
    14  harassment,  bullying,  discrimination  and civility in the relations of
    15  people of different races, weights,  national  origins,  ethnic  groups,
    16  religions,  religious  practices,  mental  or physical abilities, sexual
    17  orientations, genders, and sexes.
    18    § 9. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013; provided, however,  that
    19  if  chapter  482  of  the laws of 2010 shall not have taken effect on or
    20  before such date then this act shall take effect on the same date and in
    21  the same manner as such chapter of the laws of 2010 takes effect.
Go to top