Comprehensive Bill Focuses on Prevention and Accountability in Schools
In response to the tragic death of Western New York teen Jamey Rodemeyer, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan is urging his colleagues in the New York State Assembly to follow the Senate and pass the Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (S.4921).
The Gallivan co-sponsored bill calls for anti-bullying instruction and awareness in the state’s education curriculum, legally defines acts of bullying in schools, requires school employees to report incidences of bullying to the superintendent, protects employees that report such incidents in good faith from civil liability, and adds bullying to the list of incidents for which disciplinary measures must be taken pursuant to the district’s code of conduct.
“The times have changed and bullying is no longer confined to schoolyards and playgrounds. Modern technology has enabled bullies to victimize their targets twenty-four hours-a-day, seven days a week,” said Gallivan. “This tragedy needs to serve as a wake-up call to the devastating impact that bullying can have on students, families and communities.”
“This legislation takes into account all forms of bullying, including through electronic means, focuses on prevention, and holds schools accountable,” said Gallivan. "Over the years we have seen behavioral norms change through comprehensive efforts to educate the public about specific dangers and potential consequences. We have been presented an opportunity to make a lasting social impact and it’s time the issue of bullying and this piece of legislation garner the attention they merit.”
Senator Gallivan encouraged all New Yorkers to contact their local Member of Assembly and urge them to support this bill. A list of Members of Assembly is available at http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/ .
The Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences passed the Senate unanimously in June and awaits action in the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan.