Assemblyman David G. McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick) today was pleased to hear the signing of legislation by Governor Cuomo that will strengthen the Dignity for All Students Act. The legislation, which the governor and Assemblyman McDonough both worked to enact, will help combat cyberbullying, which has grown in prevalence in recent years.
“In today’s constantly evolving technology-driven world, young people have become subject to increasingly harsh bullying online,” said McDonough. “With Governor Cuomo’s signature today, we have drawn a clear line in the sand against the harassment and mistreatment of our children while online. It is my hope that by enacting these new safeguards, we will be able to reduce the prevalence of these all too common incidents, while preventing future tragedies. I want to applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for his vocal support on this issue and thank him for his actions today.”
The legislation was passed unanimously by both the state Assembly and Senate on June 18. School districts across the state now will begin establishing protocols to respond to cyberbullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination, including designating a school official to receive and investigate reports, prompt reporting and investigation; taking actions to prevent recurrences; coordinating with law enforcement when appropriate; developing a bullying prevention strategy; and providing notice to all school community members of the school's policies. The new guidelines also set training requirements for current and new school employees. The law will take affect July 1, 2013 and will update provisions in the Dignity for All Students Act, which took effect this past July 1.