senate Bill S1414

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to harassment of students

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to education
Jan 09, 2013 referred to education

Co-Sponsors

S1414 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง16, 10 & 11, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5916

S1414 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to harassment of students using electronic means and requires commissioner of education to implement a process for reporting of incidents and requires investigation of reports by school personnel.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1414

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to harassment of students

PURPOSE:
To direct the commissioner of education to establish a process for the
reporting and resolution of incidents of discrimination and
harassment of students to appropriate school officials.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends section 16 of the education law, as added by chapter
482 of the laws of 2010, to require that the commissioner of
education (1) promulgate rules and regulation's providing for a
process by which any employee, parent or student can report incidents
of discrimination or harassment to appropriate school officials, and
(2) provide guidelines for actions to be taken by school officials
pursuant to such reports. Such reports shall be made available to the
public upon request and are to be investigated immediately.

Section 2: Amends section 10 of the education law, as added by chapter
482 of the laws of 2010, by stating that public schools are
responsible for fostering a learning environment free from
discrimination and harassment, including bullying, taunting, and
intimidation.

Section 3: Amends subdivision 7 of section 11 of the education law, as
added by chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, expanding the definition of
"harassment" to include the intentional creation of a hostile
environment by means of electronic, written, or verbal communication
or physical conduct.

JUSTIFICATION:
This legislation will ensure that school-age children are provided a
learning environment free of harassment, discrimination,
intimidation, and bullying by directing the commissioner of education
to create rules and regulations that provide a process for both
reporting and corrective action of such incidents. Further, this bill
places the burden of providing an environment free from bullying,
taunting, and discrimination on the public schools, which are in the
best position to prevent such negative behavior.

Additionally, this legislation expands the meaning of "harassment" to
include not only verbal threats, but also electronic, written, or
verbal communication or physical conduct. Such an expansion of the
definition of harassment is vital in light of the current technology
available to students. This will allow educational institutions,
students, parents, and teachers to appropriately address all forms of
bullying.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-2012: S.5916 - Died in Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Unknown.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately and
the same date and in the same manner as chapter 102 of the laws of
2012 takes effect.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1414

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. MONTGOMERY, ADDABBO, PARKER, PERKINS -- 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 harassment of students

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

  Section 1. 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] REPORTING discrimination or
harassment. A. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES  AND  REGULATIONS
PROVIDING  FOR  A  PROCESS  BY  WHICH  ANY EMPLOYEE, PARENT, OR STUDENT,
HAVING REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT  AN  INCIDENT  OF  DISCRIMINATION  OR
HARASSMENT  AS  DEFINED  IN  THIS  ARTICLE, CAN REPORT SUCH INCIDENTS TO
APPROPRIATE SCHOOL OFFICIALS, AND ALSO PROVIDE  GUIDELINES  FOR  ACTIONS
WHICH  SHALL BE TAKEN BY SCHOOL OFFICIALS PURSUANT TO SUCH REPORTS. SUCH
ACTIONS MAY INCLUDE RECOMMENDED COUNSELING, SCHOOL  DISCIPLINE,  SUSPEN-
SION  OR  EXPULSION OR REPORTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.  SUCH REPORT SHALL BE
INVESTIGATED IMMEDIATELY, AND IT SHALL  BE  THE  RESPONSIBILITY  OF  ANY
SCHOOL  OFFICIAL  TO  REPORT  AND INVESTIGATE SUCH INCIDENTS AND RESPOND
APPROPRIATELY ACCORDING TO SUCH RULES AND  REGULATIONS.    SUCH  REPORTS
SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE SCHOOL UPON REQUEST.
  B.  Any  person  having reasonable cause to suspect that a student has
been subjected  to  discrimination  or  harassment  by  an  employee  or
student,  on school grounds or at a school function, who, acting reason-
ably and in good faith, either reports such information to school  offi-
cials,  to the commissioner, or to law enforcement authorities or other-
wise 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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03660-02-3

S. 1414                             2

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  2.  Section 10 of the education law, as added by chapter 482 of the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S 10. Legislative intent. The legislature finds that students' ability
to learn and to meet high academic standards, and a school's ability  to
educate  its students, are compromised by incidents of discrimination or
harassment including bullying, taunting or intimidation.  It  is  hereby
declared  to be the policy of the state to afford all students in public
schools an  environment  free  of  discrimination  and  harassment.  The
purpose  of  this article is to foster civility in public schools and to
prevent and prohibit conduct  which  is  inconsistent  with  a  school's
educational  mission.  PUBLIC  SCHOOLS  SHALL HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO
FOSTER A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FREE FROM INCIDENTS OF  DISCRIMINATION  OR
HARASSMENT  INCLUDING  BULLYING,  TAUNTING OR INTIMIDATION AS DEFINED IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  S 3. Subdivision 7 of section 11 of the education  law,  as  added  by
chapter 482 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  7. "Harassment" shall mean the INTENTIONAL creation of a hostile envi-
ronment  [by  conduct  or]  by  MEANS  OF  ELECTRONIC,  WRITTEN,  verbal
[threats] COMMUNICATION OR PHYSICAL CONDUCT, intimidation or abuse  that
has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfer-
ing with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits,
or  mental,  emotional  or  physical well-being; or ELECTRONIC, WRITTEN,
VERBAL COMMUNICATION OR PHYSICAL conduct, [verbal threats,] intimidation
or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause
a student to fear for his or her physical safety; such ELECTRONIC, WRIT-
TEN OR VERBAL  COMMUNICATION  OR  PHYSICAL  conduct,  [verbal  threats,]
intimidation  or  abuse includes but is not limited to [conduct, verbal]
threats, intimidation 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.
  S 4. Section 16 of the education law, as amended by chapter 102 of the
laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows:
  S 16. [Protection of people who report] REPORTING harassment, bullying
or discrimination.  A. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS PROVIDING FOR A  PROCESS  BY  WHICH  ANY  EMPLOYEE,  PARENT,  OR
STUDENT,  HAVING  REASONABLE  CAUSE  TO SUSPECT AN INCIDENT OF DISCRIMI-
NATION OR HARASSMENT AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE, CAN REPORT  SUCH  INCI-
DENTS  TO  APPROPRIATE SCHOOL OFFICIALS, AND ALSO PROVIDE GUIDELINES FOR
ACTIONS WHICH SHALL BE  TAKEN  BY  SCHOOL  OFFICIALS  PURSUANT  TO  SUCH
REPORTS.  SUCH ACTIONS MAY INCLUDE RECOMMENDED COUNSELING, SCHOOL DISCI-
PLINE, SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION OR REPORTS  TO  LAW  ENFORCEMENT.    SUCH
REPORT  SHALL BE INVESTIGATED IMMEDIATELY, AND IT SHALL BE THE RESPONSI-
BILITY OF ANY SCHOOL OFFICIAL TO REPORT AND INVESTIGATE  SUCH  INCIDENTS
AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY ACCORDING TO SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS.  SUCH
REPORTS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE SCHOOL UPON REQUEST.
  B.  Any  person  having reasonable cause to suspect that a student has
been subjected to harassment, bullying or discrimination, by an employee
or student, on school grounds or  at  a  school  function,  who,  acting
reasonably  and  in good faith, reports such information to school offi-
cials, to the commissioner or to law enforcement  authorities,  acts  in
compliance  with paragraph e or i of subdivision one of section thirteen

S. 1414                             3

of this article, 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  5.  Subdivision 7 of section 11 of the education law, as amended by
chapter 102 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows:
  7. "Harassment" and "bullying" shall mean the INTENTIONAL creation  of
a  hostile  environment  by [conduct or by threats] MEANS OF ELECTRONIC,
WRITTEN, VERBAL  COMMUNICATION  OR  PHYSICAL  CONDUCT,  intimidation  or
abuse, including cyberbullying, that (a) 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 (b) ELECTRONIC, WRITTEN, VERBAL COMMUNICATION OR PHYSICAL
CONDUCT, INTIMIDATION OR ABUSE THAT reasonably causes or  would  reason-
ably  be  expected  to  cause  a student to fear for his or her physical
safety; or (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 fore-
seeable that the [conduct, threats,] ELECTRONIC, WRITTEN, VERBAL  COMMU-
NICATION OR PHYSICAL CONDUCT OR 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 prac-
tice, 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.]
  S 6. This act shall take effect immediately,  provided  that  sections
four  and five of this act shall take effect on the same date and in the
same manner as chapter 102 of the laws of 2012, 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.