Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to provide additional protections and procedures for students who are bullied or cyberbullied, according to Sen. Kemp Hannon.
“The legislation clarifies and expands the ‘Dignity for All Students Act,’ an anti-cyberbullying law enacted in 2010, and creates guidelines for local school districts to develop policies and procedures to address the problem," he added.
Verbal and non-verbal actions, whether on or off school property, which create a risk of substantial disruption of the school environment, are now included within the definitions of "bullying" and "cyberbullying."
“Reports indicate that more than 7 million students from ages 12-18 were bullied at school and with the onslaught of technological advances in recent decades, more than 1.5 million students say they were cyberbullied on or off school property,” said Hannon.
The cyberworld can be a scary and threatening place for many children, a place where hurtful text messages, emails and Facebook postings are used to bully or intimidate.
The new law now provides school districts and parents with additional tools they need to address bullying and cyberbullying, the senator said.
“Unlike bullying which may take place in a school yard, our 21st century tools allow cyberbullies to abuse their victims on a 24/7 basis, and in too many instances, this type of non-stop bullying has led to tragic consequences,” said Hannon. “That’s why this law represents a major step forward in our effort to ensure a safer, more secure environment for young New Yorkers to learn and grow.”