Ranzenhofer Supports Anti-Bullying Legislation; New York among only seven States with no anti-bullying law
State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced his support for anti-bullying legislation. New York is only one of seven states that do not have a law to target school bullying. Bully Police, a national watchdog group, has given New York State its lowest grade for not passing a law to protect school children from bullies.
“Over the past few years school bullying has become more serious and prevalent. School bullying can have a lasting negative impact on a child’s ability to learn in the classroom. It’s time for the Governor and New York State legislature to improve its poor grades on bullying prevention efforts in our school districts,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
The Anti-Bullying Legislation would:
• Improve education for teachers, parents and students to prevent bullying and cyber-bullying
• Define bullying and cyber-bullying and add these acts to the list of incidents for which disciplinary measures must be taken pursuant to the school district’s code of conduct
• Require all school employees to report incidents of bullying and cyber-bullying
• Create the crime of Aggravated Harassment of Teachers and School Personnel
• Elevate the penalties associated with the crimes of hazing, particularly in cases where a person is injured or dies
“This anti-bullying legislation would give school superintendents and principals the authority and guidance to prevent bullying and handle disciplinary issues properly. More importantly, this legislation assures parents that when they send their kids to school, they will be learning in a safe environment,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.
Statistics show that efforts are working in states where bullying prevention is taught in schools. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, bullying can be reduced by up to 50% when there is a school-wide commitment to preventative and educational programs aimed at raising awareness, increasing teacher and parent involvement, forming clear rules and strong social norms against bullying and providing support and protection for students.
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 reported being victims of cyber-bullying. Nine in 10 teens, or 92%, reported knowing their bully; however, only 10 percent of those cyber-bullying victims told their parents.
Senator Ranzenhofer has been serving in the State Senate since 2009. He represents the 61st Senate District which includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence,
Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.