Continuing his efforts to ensure the safety of students in New York’s schools, State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that the Senate has adopted legislation he is co-sponsoring legislation to strictly prohibit school bullying in all forms. The legislation (S.7740) comprehensively defines bullying to ensure that all students are protected and addresses both conventional bullying and online cyber-bullying.
“Bullying is a pervasive problem throughout our nation’s schools and the faceless crime of harassment over the internet is the newest and fastest growing form of bullying,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This legislation represents the next step towards making our schools safer and helping the thousands of students who are needlessly suffering because they can’t escape this growing crime and abuse. I am encouraging the members of the State Assembly to join us in enacting these protections into Law.”
The legislation would require that schools take action whenever students experience harassment, bullying or discrimination, both in person or over the Internet. It would ensure that school districts have strategies in place to immediately end this harmful behavior, prevent recurrence, coordinate with law enforcement if necessary and ensure the safety of the targeted students. The legislation would also establish training to strengthen the ability of teachers and administrators to prevent and respond to these acts.
As Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, Senator Nozzolio has been a strong proponent of harsher penalties for bullying and cyber-bullying. In addition to co-sponsoring this measure, he has drafted and introduced legislation (S.471) to specifically address the growing problem of cyber-bullying by making harassment by electronic mail or computer network a Class E felony.
“With cyber-bullying, the abuse that often begins in school can carry over after a student goes home and have lasting and devastating effects on the child,” said Senator Nozzolio. “Our children should not have to fear going to school. I will continue fighting to enact this legislation and other measures to address the growing crime of bullying and cyber-bullying. We must ensure a safe learning environment for students so they have the best opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.”