|Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
|Jul 09, 2012||signed chap.102|
delivered to governor
|Jun 18, 2012||returned to senate|
ordered to third reading rules cal.376
substituted for a10712
referred to education
delivered to assembly
ordered to third reading cal.1301
|Jun 15, 2012||referred to rules|
senate Bill S7740Signed By Governor
Prohibits bullying and cyberbullying in public schools
Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed by Governor
view actions (11)
Jun 18, 2012 - floor VoteS7740560floor56Aye0Nay0Absent6Excused0Abstained
show floor vote details
Floor Vote: Jun 18, 2012aye (56)
Jun 18, 2012 - Rules committee VoteS7740220committee22Aye0Nay0Aye with Reservations0Absent2Excused1Abstained
- show floor vote details
(R, C, IP) 61st Senate District
(D) 34th Senate District
(D) 38th Senate District
(R, C, IP) 59th Senate District
S7740 - Bill Details
- See Assembly Version of this Bill:
- Law Section:
- Education Law
- Laws Affected:
- Amd §§11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 801-a, Ed L
S7740 - Bill Texts
Prohibits bullying and cyberbullying in public schools.
view sponsor memo
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to prohibiting bullying
and cyberbullying in public schools
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
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-
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-
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.
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.
No fiscal impact.
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 full 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.
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