senate Bill S4921

Amended

Prohibits bullying on school property and at school functions and enacts the "Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (LEAD)"

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 29 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 17 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.732
  • 18 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 23 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 14 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
  • 14 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 4921A
  • 25 / Apr / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.563
  • 26 / Apr / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 30 / Apr / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Prohibits bullying on school property and at school functions and enacts the "Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (LEAD)".

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8504
Versions:
S4921
S4921A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 801-a & 2801, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S4921
2009-2010: S1253C
2007-2008: S3124

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4921

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to prohibiting bullying on
school property

PURPOSE:
To define and prohibit the bullying of students and others on school
property, both conventional and cyber-bullying

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Provides that it is the Legislature's intent to continue to
ensure that school pupils, teachers and other personnel are provided
with a safe and secure learning environment. In addition, it states
that the Legislature finds that prohibiting bullying on school
property is an appropriate means to enhance the safety of public
schools in New York State.

Section 2: States that the act shall be known as the "Law to Encourage
the Acceptance of All Differences" (LEAD).

Section 3: Amends section 801-a of the Education Law, as amended by
Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010 effective July 1, 2012, to include
addressing methods to discourage acts of bullying as a component of
the required instruction in civility, citizenship, and character
education. Further defines the use of the words tolerance, respect
for others and dignity.

Section 4: Amends section 2801 (2)(d) of the Education Law to add
bullying to the list of incidents for which disciplinary measures
must be taken pursuant to the district's code of conduct.

Section 5: Amends section 2801(2) of the Education Law to add a new
paragraph f-1 to establish procedures in a district's code of conduct
which require school employees to report incidents of bullying.
Further provides that any employee who reasonably and in good faith
reports an act of bullying shall have immunity from civil liability
which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Section 6: Amends section 11 of the Education Law, as added by Chapter
482 of the Laws of 2010, to define "school property" to have the same
meaning as set forth in section 2801.

Provides further definitions necessary for the implementation of LEAD,
including the "creation of a hostile environment" and "bullying."

Section 7: Amends section 12 of the Education Law, as added by Chapter
482 of the Laws of 2010, to prohibit bullying and discrimination.
This section further provides that a student or school employee found
to have bullied a student in a public school or on school property
shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the
district's code of conduct.

Section 8: Amends sections 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the Education Law, as
added by Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010. Section 13 is amended to


require school districts to create policies and guidelines to
encourage awareness of and to prohibit acts of bullying. Section 14
is amended to require the Commissioner of Education to prescribe
regulations which require training in the identification and
mitigation of bullying as a component of obtaining a teaching
certificate or license valid for service as a classroom teacher,
school administrator or supervisor, or superintendent of schools.
Section 15 is amended to make existing reporting requirements
applicable to bullying. Section 16 is amended to protect school
employees who, in good faith, report acts of bullying from civil
liability and retaliatory action by the school district.

Section 9 Sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
In recent years, the New York State Legislature has enacted
legislation to increase the safety of students while in school or at
school functions. In particular, schools must annually print and
distribute codes of conduct which enumerate specifically prohibited
behaviors and the consequences for such actions. Additionally, in
2010 legislation was enacted to prohibit harassment and
discrimination based on certain enumerated characteristics. However,
because bullying continues to plague our students, both in school and
through the use of technology, it is vital that the legislature enact
measures that protect all students, regardless of the motivation for
the acts. Therefore, the Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All
Differences (LEAD) is aimed at protecting all of our students from
acts of bullying.

Highlighted by the tragic suicides of young teenagers in New York and
beyond, bullying is no longer something to be dismissed as mere
childhood antics. Unrelenting and egregious acts of bullying occur
every day. Unfortunately, bullying is still ignored in certain
schools and in some cases actually tolerated. Bullying, however, can
be more than temporarily distracting to a student, it can be
terrifying and emotionally damaging. It is not uncommon for
youngsters who have been the victims of constant bullying to
experience academic failure and serious social problems. Noted
psychologist and researcher Dan Olweus pinpoints the destructive role
of bullying in our schools, "Bullying poisons the educational
environment and affects the learning of every child."

Most importantly, because it is the objective to protect all students
from acts of bullying, LEAD defines bullying in a broad manner, and
focuses on the effect of the action rather than the types of or
motive behind the actions. This definition of bullying ensures that
all students are protected from egregious acts of bullying,
regardless of the motivation. It is true that many recent acts of
bullying highlighted in the news have been the result of bullying
based on a student's perceived sexual orientation. While it is
important that we as a community work to prevent these heinous acts,
it is equally important that we do not limit the scope of students
protected by anti-bullying legislation. Parents, teachers, and most
importantly students, will confess that they are bullied for reasons
as seemingly benign as their hairstyle, favorite color, complexion or
manner of dress. Unfortunately, bullying is not a new phenomenon, nor
will it soon disappear. From generation to generation, the reasons


for bullying continue to evolve.
Therefore, this legislation aims to protect all students from
bullying, regardless of the motivation.
Finally, by requiring that existing instruction in civility,
citizenship and character education include a component which
addresses methods of discouraging bullying, LEAD encourages all
student to be true leaders in their school community.

In today's age of advanced technology, twenty-four hour connectivity
and social networking, students who are subjected to acts of bullying
have no reprieve. Taunts and acts of bullying that begin in school
follow students home every day, and have lasting impacts on the
child. In fact, the United States Department of Justice reports that
cyber-bullying, bullying through the means of any electronic device,
is at an all time high. Forty-three percent of teenagers reporting
being victims of cyber-bullying.

Therefore, to further ensure the safety of students and school
employees, this legislation identifies and prohibits bullying, both
conventional and cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying, defined as bullying
through the use of technology or electronic means, can occur beyond
the traditional notion of school property. However, regardless of
where the acts of cyber-bullying occur the pervasive and immediate
nature of modern technology almost certainly assures that acts of
cyber-bullying have an impact on the daily lives of our students.
Therefore, it is imperative that any legislation aimed at protecting
students from bullying includes a prohibition of acts of
cyberbullying when such acts create a hostile environment for the
student at school or materially and substantially disrupt the
educational process or the orderly operation of a school.

Additionally, LEAD enhances the school training requirements
established by Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010, by empowering the
Commissioner of Education to prescribe regulations requiring training
in the identification and mitigation of bullying as a component of
obtaining a teaching certificate or license valid for service as a
classroom teacher, school administrator or supervisor, or
superintendent of schools.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010: S.1253C - Referred to Education; Reported to Codes
2007-2008: S.3124 - Referred to Education
2005-2006: S.5703 - Referred to Education
2003-2004: S.4023-A - Passed Senate
2002: S.7690 - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall effect on the same date and in the same manner as
Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010, July 1, 2012.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4921

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 29, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  SALAND,  SKELOS,  FLANAGAN, MAZIARZ, ALESI, BALL,
  BONACIC, DeFRANCISCO, FARLEY, FUSCHILLO, GOLDEN, GRIFFO, HANNON, JOHN-
  SON, LANZA, LARKIN,  LAVALLE,  LIBOUS,  LITTLE,  MARCELLINO,  MARTINS,
  McDONALD,  NOZZOLIO,  O'MARA,  RANZENHOFER,  RITCHIE,  ROBACH, SEWARD,
  YOUNG, ZELDIN -- 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 prohibiting bullying
  on school property

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Legislative  intent.  In recent years, New York has taken
steps to ensure that school pupils, teachers  and  other  personnel  are
provided  with  a  safe and secure learning environment.  However, egre-
gious incidents of bullying, both in person and through the use of tech-
nology, continue to plague all of our students. The  legislature  recog-
nizes that bullying manifests in many forms and for innumerable reasons.
The  legislature  finds it is vital to protect all students from acts of
bullying, therefore, this legislation expands  upon  the  provisions  of
chapter 482 of the laws of 2010.
  While the physical wounds may heal, the effects of bullying can last a
lifetime.  Therefore, the legislature finds that prohibiting bullying is
an appropriate means to enhance the  safety  of  students  in  New  York
state's public schools. Furthermore, in today's age of advanced technol-
ogy,  twenty-four  hour connectivity and social networking, students who
are subjected to acts of bullying have no reprieve. Taunts and  acts  of
bullying  that  begin in school follow students home every day, and have
lasting impacts on such students. Conversely, bullying through  the  use
of  technology can begin away from school property, yet have devastating
effects on the student's ability to  learn  in  a  safe  environment  at
school. While bullying through the use of technology may occur away from
school  property, it can create a hostile environment for the student at

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03599-07-1

S. 4921                             2

school and it can materially and substantially disrupt  the  educational
process.  Therefore, to further ensure the safety of students and school
employees, it is the intent of the legislature to provide  schools  with
the  tools  to  identify,  prevent,  and  prohibit  bullying against all
students, both conventional and cyber-bullying.
  S 2. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Law
to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (LEAD)".
  S 3.  Section 801-a of the education law, as amended by chapter 482 of
the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S 801-a. Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education.
The regents shall ensure  that  the  course  of  instruction  in  grades
kindergarten  through  twelve includes a component on civility, citizen-
ship and character education. Such component shall instruct students  on
the  principles  of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect
for others WITH AN EMPHASIS ON DISCOURAGING ACTS OF BULLYING AS  DEFINED
IN SECTION TWELVE OF THIS CHAPTER, observance of laws and rules, courte-
sy,  dignity  and  other  traits which will enhance the quality of their
experiences in, and contributions to, the community. The  regents  shall
determine  how  to  incorporate such component in existing curricula and
the commissioner shall promulgate any regulations needed  to  carry  out
such  determination  of  the  regents. For the purposes of this section,
"tolerance," "respect for others" and "dignity" shall include  awareness
and  sensitivity  to  discrimination  or harassment and civility [in the
relations of] TOWARD ALL STUDENTS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO,  people
of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions,
religious  practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations,
genders, and sexes.
  S 4. Paragraph d of subdivision 2 of section  2801  of  the  education
law,  as added by chapter 181 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as
follows:
  d. disciplinary measures  to  be  taken  in  incidents  involving  the
possession  or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of physical
force, BULLYING, vandalism, violation of another student's civil  rights
and threats of violence;
  S  5. Subdivision 2 of section 2801 of the education law is amended by
adding a new paragraph f-1 to read as follows:
  F-1.  PROCEDURES BY WHICH ANY SCHOOL EMPLOYEE, HAVING REASONABLE CAUSE
TO SUSPECT THAT A STUDENT HAS BEEN THE VICTIM OF BULLYING OR HAS COMMIT-
TED AN ACT OF BULLYING AS DEFINED IN SECTION  TWELVE  OF  THIS  CHAPTER,
SHALL  BE  REQUIRED TO REPORT SUCH INCIDENT TO THE PRINCIPAL OR DESIGNEE
THEREOF. IF THE PRINCIPAL OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE DETERMINES  THAT  THERE
IS  A  REASONABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE INCIDENT OCCURRED, HE OR SHE
SHALL REPORT SUCH INCIDENT  TO  THE  SUPERINTENDENT.  ANY  EMPLOYEE  WHO
REASONABLY AND IN GOOD FAITH MAKES A REPORT OF AN ACT OF BULLYING TO THE
PRINCIPAL  OR  DESIGNEE THEREOF SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY
WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS;
  S 6. Section 11 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S  11.    Definitions. For the purposes of this article, the following
terms shall have the following meanings:
  1. "School property" shall [mean in or within any building, structure,
athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, or land contained with-
in the real property boundary line of a public elementary  or  secondary
school;  or  in  or  on  a school bus, as defined in section one hundred
forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law.

S. 4921                             3

  2. "School function" shall mean  a  school-sponsored  extra-curricular
event  or  activity] HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION TWEN-
TY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER.
  [3.]  2.  "Disability" shall mean disability as defined in subdivision
twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.
  [4. "Employee" shall mean employee as defined in subdivision three  of
section eleven hundred twenty-five of this title.
  5.] 3. "Sexual orientation" shall mean actual or perceived heterosexu-
ality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
  [6.]  4. "Gender" shall mean actual or perceived sex and shall include
a person's gender identity or expression.
  [7. "Harassment" shall mean the creation] 5. "CREATION  of  a  hostile
environment [by]" SHALL MEAN ENGAGING IN conduct or [by] verbal threats,
intimidation  or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably
and substantially interfering with a student's educational  performance,
opportunities  or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being;
or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes
or would reasonably be expected to cause [a] ANY student to fear for his
or her physical safety[; such conduct, verbal threats,  intimidation  or
abuse  includes  but  is  not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intim-
idation or abuse based on a person's actual or  perceived  race,  color,
weight,  national  origin,  ethnic  group, religion, religious practice,
disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex].
  6.  "BULLYING" SHALL MEAN THE SEVERE OR REPEATED USE BY  ONE  OR  MORE
STUDENTS  OR  SCHOOL  EMPLOYEES  OF  A  WRITTEN,  VERBAL  OR  ELECTRONIC
EXPRESSION, OR A PHYSICAL ACT OR GESTURE, OR  ANY  COMBINATION  THEREOF,
DIRECTED AT A STUDENT THAT HAS THE EFFECT OF: (I) CAUSING PHYSICAL INJU-
RY,  SERIOUS  PHYSICAL INJURY OR EMOTIONAL HARM TO THE STUDENT OR DAMAGE
TO THE STUDENT'S PROPERTY; (II) PLACING THE STUDENT IN  REASONABLE  FEAR
OF HARM TO HIMSELF OR HERSELF OR OF DAMAGE TO HIS OR HER PROPERTY; (III)
CREATING  A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT AT SCHOOL FOR THE STUDENT; OR (IV) MATE-
RIALLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY  DISRUPTING  THE  EDUCATIONAL  PROCESS  OR  THE
ORDERLY  OPERATION OF A SCHOOL. THE TERM BULLYING SHALL INCLUDE COMMUNI-
CATIONS OR DISSEMINATION OF ANY  MATERIAL  THROUGH  WRITTEN,  VERBAL  OR
ELECTRONIC  EXPRESSIONS  WHICH CREATE A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT AT SCHOOL OR
DISRUPT THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS AS SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPHS (III)  AND
(IV)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  REGARDLESS  OF  WHETHER THE COMMUNICATION IS
INITIATED ON OR OFF SCHOOL PROPERTY.   ACTS OF BULLYING  SHALL  INCLUDE,
BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED  TO, THOSE ACTS WHICH ARE MOTIVATED BY A STUDENT'S
ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, WEIGHT, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ETHNIC  GROUP,
RELIGION, RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER, OR
SEX.
  S  7.  Section 12 of the education law, as added by chapter 482 of the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S 12. [Discrimination  and  harassment]  BULLYING  AND  DISCRIMINATION
prohibited. 1. No student shall be subjected to [harassment] BULLYING by
employees  or  students on school property [or at a school function; nor
shall any].
  A. NO STUDENT OR SCHOOL EMPLOYEE SHALL SUBJECT ANY STUDENT OF A PUBLIC
SCHOOL OR PUBLICLY FUNDED  SPECIAL  EDUCATION  PROGRAM  TO  BULLYING  AS
DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE.
  B. ANY STUDENT OR SCHOOL EMPLOYEE FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF SUBDIVI-
SION  TWO OF THIS SECTION IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL OR ON SCHOOL PROPERTY SHALL
BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DISTRICT'S CODE
OF CONDUCT ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF  THIS
ARTICLE AND THE APPLICABLE DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES.  ANY STUDENT OR SCHOOL

S. 4921                             4

EMPLOYEE  FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION IN
A PUBLICLY FUNDED SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM SHALL BE SUBJECT  TO  DISCI-
PLINE  UNDER  THE  POLICIES  AND  PROCEDURES  OF  SUCH PROGRAM GOVERNING
CONDUCT.
  C.  NOTHING  IN THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY, OR BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY, TO
PRIVATE, RELIGIOUS OR DENOMINATIONAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. NOR SHALL
THIS SECTION PRECLUDE OR LIMIT, OR BE PERCEIVED TO  PRECLUDE  OR  LIMIT,
ANY  RIGHT OR CAUSE OF ACTION PROVIDED UNDER ANY LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL
ORDINANCE, LAW, RULE OR REGULATION.
  2. NO student SHALL be subjected to discrimination based on a person's
actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic  group,
religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or
sex  by  school  employees or students on school property or at a school
function. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to  prohibit  a
denial  of  admission  into,  or exclusion from, a course of instruction
based on a person's gender that would be permissible under section thir-
ty-two hundred one-a or paragraph (a)  of  subdivision  two  of  section
twenty-eight  hundred  fifty-four  of  this  chapter and title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. section 1681, et. seq.),  or  to
prohibit,  as  discrimination based on disability, actions that would be
permissible under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  [2. An age-appropriate version of the policy outlined  in  subdivision
one of this section, written in plain-language, shall be included in the
code  of conduct adopted by boards of education and the trustees or sole
trustee pursuant to section twenty-eight hundred one of this chapter and
a summary of such policy shall be included in any summaries required  by
such section twenty-eight hundred one.]
  S  8.  Sections  13,  14,  15 and 16 of the education law, as added by
chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows:
  S 13. Policies and guidelines. The board of education and the trustees
or sole trustee of every  school  district  shall  create  policies  and
guidelines that shall include, but not be limited to:
  1.  Policies intended to create a school environment that is free from
discrimination or [harassment] BULLYING; AND
  2. Guidelines to be used in school training programs to discourage the
development of discrimination or  [harassment]  BULLYING  and  that  are
designed:
  a.  to  raise  the  awareness  and  sensitivity of school employees to
potential discrimination or [harassment] BULLYING, and
  b. to enable employees to prevent and  respond  to  discrimination  or
[harassment; and
  3.   Guidelines  relating  to  the  development  of  nondiscriminatory
instructional and counseling methods, and requiring that  at  least  one
staff  member  at  every  school  be  thoroughly trained to handle human
relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national  origin,  ethnic
group,  religion,  religious  practice,  disability, sexual orientation,
gender, and sex] BULLYING.
  S 14. Commissioner's responsibilities. The commissioner shall:
  1. Provide direction, which may include development of model  policies
and,  to  the  extent  possible,  direct  services,  to school districts
related to preventing discrimination and [harassment]  BULLYING  and  to
fostering  an  environment  in every school where all children can learn
free of manifestations of bias;
  2. Provide grants, from funds appropriated for such purpose, to  local
school districts to assist them in implementing the guidelines set forth
in this section; and

S. 4921                             5

  3.  Promulgate  regulations to assist school districts in implementing
this article including, but not limited to, regulations to assist school
districts  in  developing  measured,   balanced,   and   age-appropriate
responses  to  violations  of  this policy, with remedies and procedures
focusing on intervention and education.
  4.  THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL  PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS REQUIRING THAT ALL
PERSONS APPLYING ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER SECOND, TWO THOUSAND TWELVE FOR A
TEACHING CERTIFICATE OR LICENSE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO A  CERTIF-
ICATE OR LICENSE VALID FOR SERVICE AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER, SCHOOL ADMIN-
ISTRATOR  OR SUPERVISOR OR SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, SHALL, IN ADDITION
TO ALL OTHER CERTIFICATION OR  LICENSING  REQUIREMENTS,  HAVE  COMPLETED
TRAINING  IN  THE  IDENTIFICATION  AND  MITIGATION  OF BULLYING IN AREAS
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED  TO  RACE,  COLOR,  WEIGHT,  NATIONAL  ORIGIN,
ETHNIC  GROUP,  RELIGION,  RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIEN-
TATION, GENDER AND SEX.
  S 15. Reporting by  commissioner.  The  commissioner  shall  create  a
procedure  under which material incidents of discrimination and [harass-
ment] BULLYING on school [grounds or at a school function] PROPERTY,  AS
SUCH  TERM  IS DEFINED IN SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAP-
TER, are reported to the department at least on an  annual  basis.  Such
procedure shall provide that such reports shall, wherever possible, also
delineate  the  specific  nature  of such incidents of discrimination or
[harassment] BULLYING, provided that the commissioner  may  comply  with
the  requirements  of  this  section through use of the existing uniform
violent incident reporting system.    In  addition  the  department  may
conduct research or undertake studies to determine compliance throughout
the state with the provisions of this article.
  S  16.  Protection of people who report discrimination or [harassment]
BULLYING. Any person having reasonable cause to suspect that  a  student
has  been  subjected  to  discrimination  or [harassment] BULLYING by an
employee or student, on school [grounds or at a school function,]  PROP-
ERTY,  AS  SUCH  TERM  IS DEFINED IN SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF
THIS CHAPTER, who, acting reasonably and in good faith,  either  reports
such  information  to  school  officials, to the commissioner, or to law
enforcement authorities or otherwise initiates, testifies,  participates
or  assists  in  any  formal or informal proceedings under this article,
shall have immunity from any civil liability that  may  arise  from  the
making  of  such report or from initiating, testifying, participating or
assisting in such formal or informal proceedings, and no school district
or employee shall take, request or cause a  retaliatory  action  against
any  such  person who, acting reasonably and in good faith, either makes
such a report or initiates, testifies, participates or assists  in  such
formal or informal proceedings.
  S  9.  This  act  shall  take  effect on the same date and in the same
manner as chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, takes effect.

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