senate Bill S7740

Signed by Governor

Prohibits bullying and cyberbullying in public schools

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

view all co-sponsors

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 15 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1301
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A10712
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.376
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 09 / Jul / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 09 / Jul / 2012
    • SIGNED CHAP.102

Summary

Prohibits bullying and cyberbullying in public schools.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10712
Versions:
S7740
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 801-a, Ed L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7740

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to prohibiting bullying
and cyberbullying in public schools

PURPOSE:
This legislation will protect students from cyberbullying as well as
harassment, bullying and discrimination by requiring school districts
to: (1) establish protocols to respond to cyberbullying, harassment,
bullying and discrimination, including designating a school official to
receive and investigate reports, prompt reporting and investigation; (2)
take actions to prevent recurrences; (3) coordinate with law enforcement
when appropriate; (4) develop a bullying prevention strategy; and (5)
provide notice to all school community members of the school's policies.
It would also set training requirements for current and new school
employees.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill contains legislative findings on the impact of
cyberbullying and legislative intent regarding the appropriate response
to harassment, bullying, cyberbullying and discrimination.

Section 2 would amend Education Law § 11 to define "bullying" as having
the same meaning as "harassment" and provide that "harassment" and
"bullying" means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct,
threats, intimidation or abuse that: (a) has or would have the effect of
unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student's education or
well-being; (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to
cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; (c) reasonably
causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or
emotional harm to a student; or (d) occurs off school property and
creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption
within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the action
might reach school property. It also would define "cyberbullying" as
harassment or bullying that occurs through any form of electronic commu-
nication.

Section 3 would amend Education Law § 12 by adding the term "bullying"
to conform to section 2 of the bill.

Section 4 would amend Education Law § 13 to direct local school
districts to establish policies and procedures to address cyberbullying,
harassment, bullying and discrimination that do the following: (a) iden-
tify a school official charged with receiving reports of such acts; (b)
enable students and parents to make a report; (c) require school employ-
ees who witness or receive a report to promptly notify the appropriate
school official orally within one school day and in writing within three
school days; (d) require a school official to lead or supervise a prompt
and thorough investigation of all reports and to notify law enforcement
when appropriate; (e) when an investigation reveals verified harassment,
bullying or discrimination, take prompt responsive action; (f) prohibit

retaliation against any individual who assists in an investigation under
this section; (g) establish a strategy to prevent harassment, bullying
and discrimination; (h) require schools to make a regular report on
harassment, bullying and discrimination data and trends to the district
superintendent; (i) make appropriate references to the code of conduct;
(j) inform all school community members of the policies; and (k) post
the policies on the school's website.

This section also would direct school districts to develop guidelines
relating to measured, balanced and age-appropriate responses to harass-
ment, bullying or discrimination by students, with remedies and proce-
dures following a progressive model.

Finally, this section would require that school training conducted by
school districts pursuant to Education Law § 13 address: (a) the iden-
tification, effects and mitigation of harassment, bullying, cyberbully-
ing and discrimination; (b) social patterns of bullying; and (d) strate-
gies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and
aggression in educational settings.

Section 5 would amend Education Law § 14 by directing the State Educa-
tion Commissioner to promulgate regulations to assist school districts
in developing guidelines relating to measured, balanced and age-appro-
priate responses to harassment, bullying or discrimination by students.
The Commissioner would also provide guidance and educational materials
to school districts related to best practices and engaging families and
communities in addressing cyberbullying.

This section also would require school professionals applying after June
30, 2013 for a certificate or license to complete training on the social
patterns of harassment and bullying, the identification and mitigation
of harassment, bullying and discrimination, and strategies for effec-
tively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educa-
tional settings.

Section 6 would amend Education Law § 15 to add the term "bullying" to
conform to section 2 of the bill.

Section 7 would amend Education Law § 16 to provide immunity from civil
liability for school personnel who take actions in response to an inves-
tigation conducted under section 4 of this bill, or who notify law
enforcement authorities in compliance with that section, where those
persons act reasonably and in good faith and have reasonable cause to
suspect that a student has been subjected to harassment, bullying,
cyberbullying or discrimination by an employee or student on school
grounds or at a school function.

Section 8 would amend Education Law § 801-a to require that civility,
citizenship and character education in grades kindergarten through
twelve include components that: (a) emphasize discouraging acts of
harassment, bullying and discrimination; and (b) teach safe, responsible

use of the Internet and electronic communications. Section 9 would
establish the effective date of the bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
Cyberbullying and other forms of bullying pose a serious risk to school
safety and educational success for all children. Every student needs to
feel safe in order to maximize his or her academic and social potential.
Children cannot succeed when they fear for their safety at school, worry
about being bullied or cyberbullied, or suffer discrimination and taunts
because of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or
any other reason.

Bullying is especially dangerous because, if left unattended, it can
rapidly escalate into even more serious violence and abuse. Research has
identified a range of serious and long-term consequences associated with
bullying behavior that include increased depression, substance use,
aggressive impulses, and school truancy by its victims (U.S. Department
of Education, 2011). A number of suicides among school-age children and
adolescents in New York and nationwide have been linked to chronic
bullying and have attracted national attention to the issue.

Cyberbullying is a new and especially insidious form of bullying. It
allows bullies to do their work at a distance, outside of schools, in
front of a broad audience and sometimes under the protection of anonymi-
ty. The use of technology to rapidly transmit vicious content to a wide
audience makes acts of cyberbullying highly visible, more pervasive.
Research has revealed a link between cyberbullying and low self-esteem,
family problems, academic problems, school violence and delinquent
behavior (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2012). Recent well-publicized
cases involve acts of cyberbullying - sometimes combined with other
forms of bullying - that have led to suicide. The threats of cyberbully-
ing and its 24/7 exposure to students makes this a particularly impor-
tant topic for schools to address.

Bullying and cyberbullying affect many students. In 2009, more than 7
million U.S. students ages 12-18 - representing 28 percent of all
students in that age range - were bullied at school and more than 1.5
million students -- 6 percent - were cyberbullied on or off school prop-
erty (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). A 2011 survey of New York
State high school students revealed that during the previous year nearly
18 percent of students had been bullied on school property and 16
percent (including nearly 21 percent of girls) had been cyberbullied
through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, Web sites, texting or
other electronic means (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, CDC, 2011).

This bill would require that schools take action when students experi-
ence cyberbullying, harassment, bullying or discrimination. It would
ensure that school districts immediately seek to end the harmful behav-
ior, prevent recurrence and ensure the safety of the targeted students.

It also would establish training to strengthen the ability of teachers
and administrators to prevent and respond to such acts.

This legislation is an essential step in the State's ongoing effort to
improve education. Every child is entitled to feel safe in the class-
room. Failure to respond immediately and appropriately negatively
impacts education and fuels violence.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:
No fiscal impact.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill would take effect July 1, 2013, except that if Chapter 482 of
the Laws of 2010 has not taken effect by that date, then this bill would
take effect on the same date as that chapter. As enacted, Chapter 482 is
scheduled to take effect July 1, 2012.

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

    S. 7740                                                 A. 10712

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                              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:

  Section  1. Legislative findings and intent. In recent years, New York
state has taken steps to ensure that school pupils, teachers  and  other
personnel  are  provided  with  a  safe and secure learning environment.
However, the legislature recognizes that egregious incidents of  harass-
ment, bullying and discrimination, both in person and through the use of
technology,  continue  to  disrupt  the  lives and education of students
across the state, and that bullying manifests in many  forms,  including
through the use of technology in what is often called cyberbullying.  In
today's  age  of  advanced technology, twenty-four hour connectivity and
social networking, students who are subjected to bullying, such  as  the
texting  or  posting  of  sexually  derogatory  comments via such social
networking sites or by other means,  have  no  reprieve.  Bullying  that
begins  in  school  follows  students  home  every  day, and has lasting
impacts on such students. Conversely, bullying through the use of  tech-
nology can begin away from school property.
  The  legislature  also  recognizes  that most cyberbullying originates
off-campus, but nonetheless affects the school environment and  disrupts
the  educational  process, impeding the ability of students to learn and
too often causing devastating effects on students' health  and  well-be-
ing.
  The legislature finds it is vital to protect all students from harass-
ment,  bullying,  cyberbullying  and  discrimination.   In expanding the
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

to  give school districts tools to address these harmful acts consistent
with the emerging  research  in  the  field.  Bullying,  harassment  and
discrimination  pose a serious threat to all students, including but not
limited to students targeted because of actual or perceived race, color,
weight,  national  origin,  ethnic  group, religion, religious practice,
disability, sexual orientation, gender  or  sex.  It  is  imperative  to
protect  every  student from such harm regardless of whether the student
is a member of a specific category.
  S 2. Subdivision 7 of section 11 of the education  law,  as  added  by
chapter  482  of the laws of 2010, is amended and a new subdivision 8 is
added to read as follows:
  7. "Harassment" AND "BULLYING" shall mean the creation  of  a  hostile
environment  by  conduct  or by [verbal] threats, intimidation or abuse,
INCLUDING CYBERBULLYING, that (A) has or would have the effect of unrea-
sonably 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] (B)
reasonably  causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a 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, intimidation] or [abuse] (C) REASONABLY CAUSES OR WOULD REASON-
ABLY BE EXPECTED TO  CAUSE  PHYSICAL  INJURY  OR  EMOTIONAL  HARM  TO  A
STUDENT; OR (D) OCCURS OFF SCHOOL PROPERTY AND CREATES OR WOULD FORESEE-
ABLY  CREATE A RISK OF SUBSTANTIAL DISRUPTION WITHIN THE SCHOOL ENVIRON-
MENT, WHERE IT IS FORESEEABLE THAT THE CONDUCT, THREATS, INTIMIDATION OR
ABUSE MIGHT REACH SCHOOL PROPERTY. ACTS OF HARASSMENT AND BULLYING SHALL
INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THOSE ACTS based on a person's actual or
perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group,  religion,
religious  practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.  FOR
THE PURPOSES OF THIS  DEFINITION  THE  TERM  "THREATS,  INTIMIDATION  OR
ABUSE" SHALL INCLUDE VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL ACTIONS.
  8.  "CYBERBULLYING"  SHALL  MEAN  HARASSMENT OR BULLYING AS DEFINED IN
SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION, INCLUDING PARAGRAPHS  (A),  (B),  (C)
AND  (D)  OF  SUCH SUBDIVISION, WHERE SUCH HARASSMENT OR BULLYING OCCURS
THROUGH ANY FORM OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION.
  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 12 of the education  law,  as  added  by
chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  No student shall be subjected to harassment OR BULLYING by employ-
ees or students on school property or at a school  function;  nor  shall
any student 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 thirty-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.
  S  4.  Section 13 of the education law, as added by chapter 482 of the
laws of 2010, is 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,  PROCE-
DURES and guidelines that shall include, but not be limited to:

S. 7740                             3                           A. 10712

  1.  Policies  AND  PROCEDURES  intended to create a school environment
that is  free  from  [discrimination  or]  harassment[;],  BULLYING  AND
DISCRIMINATION, THAT INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO PROVISIONS WHICH:
  A. IDENTIFY THE PRINCIPAL, SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCIPAL'S OR SUPER-
INTENDENT'S  DESIGNEE  AS  THE  SCHOOL  EMPLOYEE  CHARGED WITH RECEIVING
REPORTS OF HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION;
  B. ENABLE STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO MAKE AN ORAL OR  WRITTEN  REPORT  OF
HARASSMENT,  BULLYING  OR DISCRIMINATION TO TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND
OTHER SCHOOL PERSONNEL THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT DEEMS APPROPRIATE;
  C. REQUIRE  SCHOOL  EMPLOYEES  WHO  WITNESS  HARASSMENT,  BULLYING  OR
DISCRIMINATION,  OR  RECEIVE  AN  ORAL  OR WRITTEN REPORT OF HARASSMENT,
BULLYING OR DISCRIMINATION, TO PROMPTLY  ORALLY  NOTIFY  THE  PRINCIPAL,
SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCIPAL'S OR SUPERINTENDENT'S DESIGNEE NOT LATER
THAN  ONE  SCHOOL DAY AFTER SUCH SCHOOL EMPLOYEE WITNESSES OR RECEIVES A
REPORT OF HARASSMENT, BULLYING OR DISCRIMINATION, AND TO FILE A  WRITTEN
REPORT  WITH  THE  PRINCIPAL,  SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCIPAL OR SUPER-
INTENDENT'S DESIGNEE NOT LATER THAN TWO SCHOOL DAYS  AFTER  MAKING  SUCH
ORAL REPORT;
  D.  REQUIRE THE PRINCIPAL, SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCIPAL'S OR SUPER-
INTENDENT'S DESIGNEE TO LEAD OR SUPERVISE THE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION  OF
ALL  REPORTS  OF  HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION, AND TO ENSURE
THAT SUCH INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED PROMPTLY AFTER RECEIPT OF ANY WRIT-
TEN REPORTS MADE UNDER THIS SECTION;
  E. REQUIRE THE SCHOOL, WHEN AN INVESTIGATION REVEALS ANY SUCH VERIFIED
HARASSMENT, BULLYING OR DISCRIMINATION, TO TAKE PROMPT  ACTIONS  REASON-
ABLY CALCULATED TO END THE HARASSMENT, BULLYING OR DISCRIMINATION, ELIM-
INATE ANY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT, CREATE A MORE POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE AND
CLIMATE,  PREVENT  RECURRENCE  OF THE BEHAVIOR, AND ENSURE THE SAFETY OF
THE STUDENT OR  STUDENTS  AGAINST  WHOM  SUCH  HARASSMENT,  BULLYING  OR
DISCRIMINATION  WAS DIRECTED.  SUCH ACTIONS SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH THE
GUIDELINES CREATED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION;
  F. PROHIBIT RETALIATION AGAINST ANY INDIVIDUAL  WHO,  IN  GOOD  FAITH,
REPORTS,  OR  ASSISTS  IN  THE INVESTIGATION OF, HARASSMENT, BULLYING OR
DISCRIMINATION;
  G. INCLUDE A SCHOOL  STRATEGY  TO  PREVENT  HARASSMENT,  BULLYING  AND
DISCRIMINATION;
  H.  REQUIRE  THE PRINCIPAL TO MAKE A REGULAR REPORT ON DATA AND TRENDS
RELATED TO HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION  TO  THE  SUPERINTEN-
DENT;
  I.  REQUIRE THE PRINCIPAL, SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCIPAL'S OR SUPER-
INTENDENT'S DESIGNEE, TO  NOTIFY  PROMPTLY  THE  APPROPRIATE  LOCAL  LAW
ENFORCEMENT  AGENCY  WHEN  SUCH PRINCIPAL, SUPERINTENDENT OR THE PRINCI-
PAL'S OR SUPERINTENDENT'S DESIGNEE, BELIEVES THAT ANY HARASSMENT, BULLY-
ING OR DISCRIMINATION CONSTITUTES CRIMINAL CONDUCT;
  J. INCLUDE APPROPRIATE REFERENCES TO  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THE  SCHOOL
DISTRICT'S  CODE  OF  CONDUCT  ADOPTED  PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT
HUNDRED ONE OF THIS CHAPTER THAT ARE RELEVANT  TO  HARASSMENT,  BULLYING
AND DISCRIMINATION;
  K.  REQUIRE  EACH  SCHOOL,  AT  LEAST ONCE DURING EACH SCHOOL YEAR, TO
PROVIDE ALL SCHOOL EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS AND PARENTS  WITH  A  WRITTEN  OR
ELECTRONIC  COPY  OF  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S POLICIES CREATED PURSUANT TO
THIS SECTION, OR A PLAIN-LANGUAGE SUMMARY THEREOF,  INCLUDING  NOTIFICA-
TION  OF THE PROCESS BY WHICH STUDENTS, PARENTS AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES MAY
REPORT HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION.  THIS SUBDIVISION  SHALL
NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE ADDITIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH POLICIES AND

S. 7740                             4                           A. 10712

GUIDELINES  IF  THEY  ARE  OTHERWISE  DISTRIBUTED  TO  SCHOOL EMPLOYEES,
STUDENTS AND PARENTS;
  L. MAINTAIN CURRENT VERSIONS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S POLICIES CREATED
PURSUANT  TO  THIS SECTION ON THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S INTERNET WEBSITE, IF
ONE EXISTS;
  2. Guidelines to be used in school training programs to discourage the
development of [discrimination or] harassment,  BULLYING  AND  DISCRIMI-
NATION, AND TO MAKE SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AWARE OF THE EFFECTS OF HARASSMENT,
BULLYING,  CYBERBULLYING  AND  DISCRIMINATION  ON  STUDENTS and that are
designed:
  a. to raise the awareness  and  sensitivity  of  school  employees  to
potential  [discrimination  or] harassment, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION,
and
  b. to enable employees to prevent and respond to  [discrimination  or]
harassment, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION; 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[.]; AND
  4. GUIDELINES RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF  MEASURED,  BALANCED  AND
AGE-APPROPRIATE  RESPONSES  TO  INSTANCES  OF  HARASSMENT,  BULLYING  OR
DISCRIMINATION BY STUDENTS, WITH REMEDIES  AND  PROCEDURES  FOLLOWING  A
PROGRESSIVE  MODEL THAT MAKE APPROPRIATE USE OF INTERVENTION, DISCIPLINE
AND EDUCATION, VARY IN METHOD ACCORDING TO THE NATURE OF  THE  BEHAVIOR,
THE  DEVELOPMENTAL AGE OF THE STUDENT AND THE STUDENT'S HISTORY OF PROB-
LEM BEHAVIORS, AND ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE DISTRICT'S CODE  OF  CONDUCT;
AND
  5. TRAINING REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL ADDRESS THE SOCIAL PATTERNS
OF HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION ELEVEN
OF  THIS  ARTICLE,  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT LIMITED TO THOSE ACTS BASED ON A
PERSON'S ACTUAL OR  PERCEIVED  RACE,  COLOR,  WEIGHT,  NATIONAL  ORIGIN,
ETHNIC  GROUP,  RELIGION,  RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIEN-
TATION, GENDER OR SEX, THE IDENTIFICATION AND MITIGATION OF  HARASSMENT,
BULLYING  AND  DISCRIMINATION, AND STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVELY ADDRESSING
PROBLEMS OF EXCLUSION, BIAS AND AGGRESSION IN EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS.
  S 5. Section 14 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  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
DISCRIMINATION 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]
  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] FOLLOWING A PROGRESSIVE MODEL THAT MAKE APPROPRIATE USE OF
intervention, DISCIPLINE and education[.] AND PROVIDE  GUIDANCE  RELATED
TO THE APPLICATION OF REGULATIONS; AND

S. 7740                             5                           A. 10712

  4.  PROVIDE  GUIDANCE  AND  EDUCATIONAL  MATERIALS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS
RELATED TO BEST PRACTICES IN ADDRESSING CYBERBULLYING AND HELPING  FAMI-
LIES  AND  COMMUNITIES  WORK  COOPERATIVELY  WITH  SCHOOLS IN ADDRESSING
CYBERBULLYING, WHETHER ON OR OFF SCHOOL PROPERTY OR AT OR  AWAY  FROM  A
SCHOOL FUNCTION.
  5.  THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS THAT SCHOOL PROFES-
SIONALS APPLYING ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO  THOUSAND  THIRTEEN  FOR  A
CERTIFICATE  OR  LICENSE,  INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO A CERTIFICATE OR
LICENSE VALID FOR SERVICE AS  A  CLASSROOM  TEACHER,  SCHOOL  COUNSELOR,
SCHOOL  PSYCHOLOGIST,  SCHOOL  SOCIAL  WORKER,  SCHOOL  ADMINISTRATOR OR
SUPERVISOR OR SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS SHALL, IN ADDITION TO ALL  OTHER
CERTIFICATION  OR LICENSING REQUIREMENTS, HAVE COMPLETED TRAINING ON THE
SOCIAL PATTERNS OF HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION,  AS  DEFINED
IN  SECTION  ELEVEN  OF THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THOSE
ACTS BASED ON A  PERSON'S  ACTUAL  OR  PERCEIVED  RACE,  COLOR,  WEIGHT,
NATIONAL ORIGIN, ETHNIC GROUP, RELIGION, RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, DISABILITY,
SEXUAL  ORIENTATION, GENDER OR SEX, THE IDENTIFICATION AND MITIGATION OF
HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION, AND STRATEGIES FOR  EFFECTIVELY
ADDRESSING  PROBLEMS  OF  EXCLUSION,  BIAS AND AGGRESSION IN EDUCATIONAL
SETTINGS.
  S 6. Section 15 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S  15.  Reporting  by  commissioner.  The  commissioner shall create a
procedure under which material incidents of [discrimination and] harass-
ment, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION on school grounds or at a school func-
tion 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 AND DISCRIMINATION, 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 7. Section 16 of the education law, as added by chapter 482  of  the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S  16. Protection of people who report [discrimination or] harassment,
BULLYING OR DISCRIMINATION.   Any  person  having  reasonable  cause  to
suspect that a student has been subjected to [discrimination or] harass-
ment,  BULLYING  OR DISCRIMINATION, by an employee or student, on school
grounds or at a school function, who,  acting  reasonably  and  in  good
faith,  [either]  reports  such  information to school officials, to the
commissioner[,] or to law enforcement authorities,  ACTS  IN  COMPLIANCE
WITH  PARAGRAPH  E  OR  I OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THIRTEEN OF THIS
ARTICLE, or otherwise initiates, testifies, participates or  assists  in
any  formal or informal proceedings under this article, shall have immu-
nity 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 8. 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

S. 7740                             6                           A. 10712

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 HARASSMENT, BULLY-
ING, DISCRIMINATION, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and
other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and
contributions to, the community. SUCH COMPONENT SHALL  INCLUDE  INSTRUC-
TION  OF  SAFE,  RESPONSIBLE USE OF THE INTERNET AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNI-
CATIONS. The regents shall determine how to incorporate  such  component
in  existing  curricula  and the commissioner shall promulgate any regu-
lations needed to carry out such determination of the regents.  For  the
purposes  of this section, "tolerance," "respect for others" and "digni-
ty" shall include  awareness  and  sensitivity  to  [discrimination  or]
harassment,  BULLYING,  DISCRIMINATION  and civility in the relations of
people of different races, weights,  national  origins,  ethnic  groups,
religions,  religious  practices,  mental  or physical abilities, sexual
orientations, genders, and sexes.
  S 9. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013; provided, however,  that
if  chapter  482  of  the laws of 2010 shall not have taken effect on or
before such date then this act shall take effect on the same date and in
the same manner as such chapter of the laws of 2010 takes effect.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.