Anti-bullying Legislation Passes, Still much work to be done
Passing 58 to 3, the Senate approved a bill designed to protect students from bullying, which now awaits the signature of Governor Paterson.
“We succeeded last night in taking another step forward toward protecting our children and setting the stage for more important discussions regarding bullying,” said Senator Kemp Hannon. “However, it’s unfortunate that this bill does not specifically address cyber-bullying, which has been a major topic of concern in my district and across the State. That’s why I remain hopeful that my colleagues will pass my cyber-bullying legislation as soon as possible,” Hannon continued.
The bullying bill that passed applies to events on school grounds and at school functions. It prohibits harassment, the creation of a hostile environment by conduct, and discrimination based on “actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.”
Senator Hannon’s proposed cyber-bullying legislation specifically defines cyber-bullying and adds the behavior to a list of acts for which disciplinary measures must be taken. Additionally, Senator Hannon's bill establishes a state-wide registry for individuals to report instances of bullying and cyber-bullying.