Would you want to know if your child was being bullied at school or was bullying others?
Unfortunately, due to a loophole in state law, many parents are not being kept informed about incidents of bullying taking place at our schools.
In April 2015, 13-year-old Jacobe Taras of Fort Edward tragically took his own life as a result of bullying. Jacobe’s parents, Christine and Richard Taras, say they were not notified by Jacobe’s school of the extent of bullying he faced.
This was not an isolated incident. There are many heartbreaking stories of young people injuring themselves, or worse yet, taking their own lives because of bullying.
Although schools are required to report incidents to the state Education Department, the Dignity for All Students Act does not require schools to alert parents when their child has been bullied or is believed to be the perpetrator of bullying.
“Jacobe’s Law” (S9074A/A8114E), sponsored by Senator Jim Tedisco has passed the Senate twice, and requires that school employees charged with receiving reports of harassment, bullying or discrimination contact the parents or guardians of the students involved – both the bullies and victims -- when an incident of bullying or harassment occurs.
The bi-partisan bill is being sponsored in the state Assembly by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, but that legislative body refuses to bring it to the Assembly Floor for a debate and up or down vote.
The Assembly should return to Albany and pass “Jacobe’s Law” now so we don’t let another school year pass where children are being bullied and tormented like Jacobe was because parents, who are held to the highest level of responsibility for the best interests of their children, will not be informed to intercede and stop a tragedy from taking place.
Sign the petition to pass “Jacobe’s Law” in the Assembly today!