Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) recently co-sponsored a bill that works to address and define cyberbullying. Bullying has been a longstanding issue in schools, and, with social media now a consistent presence in the life of children, it has become a platform for bullying beyond the school walls. Montesano noted that this legislation is a step toward combating cyberbullying.
“One way we as a community can combat cyberbullying is to have consistent policies,” said Montesano. “Cyberbullying has come to the forefront of the national conversation and New York State can take a strong stand against it to protect our children with this legislation. Innocent victims of cyberbullying have gone as far as to take their own lives to escape the torture, and I am honored to have been asked to co-sponsor this bill to define cyberbullying and make it a misdemeanor offense.”
This bill would amend the state’s education law by defining cyberbullying as engaging in acts of abusive behavior over a period of time by communication sent by mechanical or electronic means, posting statements on the Internet or through a computer network. Any incident of cyberbullying would be an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.