STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
January 11, 2019
Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Education
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the public
school curriculum for children in kindergarten through grade twelve to
include a minimum of two hours per week instruction in civics lessons
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 801-a of the education law, as amended by chapter
2 102 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 801-a. Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education.
4 1. The regents shall ensure that the course of instruction in grades
5 kindergarten through twelve includes a component on civility, citizen-
6 ship and character education. Such component shall instruct students on
7 the principles of honesty, tolerance, racial and global harmony, media
8 literacy, personal responsibility, morals and ethics, respect for
9 others, with an emphasis on discouraging acts of harassment, bullying,
10 discrimination, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and
11 other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and
12 contributions to, the community. The instruction shall emphasize the
13 practical application of such lessons and the short-term and long-term
14 impact on the student's life and on the lives of others of implementing
15 the lessons.
16 2. The boards of education and trustees of the cities and school
17 districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such
18 matters for a minimum period of two hours per week, by the teachers
19 employed in the schools therein, commencing with the two thousand nine-
20 teen--two thousand twenty school year. All pupils over the age of five
21 years who attend public schools shall receive such instruction.
22 3. Such component shall include instruction of safe, responsible use
23 of the internet and electronic communications. The regents shall deter-
24 mine how to incorporate such component in existing curricula and the
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 1104 2
1 commissioner shall promulgate any regulations needed to carry out such
2 determination of the regents. For the purposes of this section, "toler-
3 ance," "respect for others" and "dignity" shall include awareness and
4 sensitivity to harassment, bullying, discrimination and civility in the
5 relations of people of different races, weights, national origins,
6 ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abili-
7 ties, sexual orientations, genders, and sexes.
8 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.