Albany, NY – Cuomo, NY Legislature Agree On First Student Cyberbullying Bill


    Albany, NY – Students in New York will learn the potentially deadly hazards of cyberbullying and school officials will be mandated to respond to the earliest reports of it, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders, who agreed Saturday to a bill on the subject.

    The bill defines cyberbullying as harassment, insults, taunting and threats through social media. The bill won’t, however, include a criminal charge that a senator had insisted last week is essential to curbing the rising harassment blamed on a string of teen suicides.

    The law will require schools to designate an official responsible for prompt action on any reports of cyberbullying, according to the governor’s bill released Saturday. The bill also requires schools to coordinate with police “when appropriate” and develop a strategy for dealing with cyberbullying. All present and future school officials would also be trained to detect and act on instances of cyberbullying.

    Many lawmakers were opposed to creating a law that be used to prosecute teenagers. Sen. Jeffrey Klein had pushed late last week to include a criminal charge in the bill. The Democrat representing the Bronx and parts of Westchester County said New York had a chance to lead the nation in combating the growing national problem

    “Preventing cyberbullying and other forms of harassment and discrimination is a top priority that is at the center of improving school performance and the guiding the personal growth of our children,” Cuomo said Saturday. He said it’s a key to “support a student’s right to learn.”

    Cyberbullying and the sometimes subsequent suicide are rising even as crimes in schools are declining nationwide. The National School Safety Center reports that while the proportion of students, ages 12 to 18, who reported being bullied at school has declined from 32 to 28 percent, the proportion of those who say they are bullied online increased from 4 to 6 percent.

    The center’s Ron Stephens had said “cyberbullying issue has really moved to center stage.”

    Some of the recent cases include the suicide of a bullied gay teenager in Western New York after offensive comments he endured online and a 15-year-old girl on Staten Island who jumped in front of a city bus two days after Christmas after she was tormented on Facebook.

    The measure would be voted on this week by the full Legislature before the end of the regular session Thursday.

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    1. This is ridiculous. If students were more busy doing what they should be doing and not being online so much they would not be able to be bullied. It gets back to the old question – If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a noise? The one who is making the most noise right now is Cuomo. He just seems to think that he is some kind of Quixotic figure who can just pass a bill and make everything all right. Why doesn’t he just make the age 21 before you can own any internet devices. Wouldn’t that make more sense? duhhhhhh.

    2. They should strike a deal with facebook that if you are guilty of cyber bullying, you lost facebook account priviledges for say 3-6 months. This might actually work I would surmise.

    3. Kudos to Cuomo…this is loooong ovedue.

      It goes on in our own yeshivas/schools – both boys and/or girls. It has unspeakably devastating effects on our yiddishe kinderlach. For those whose heads are still buried in the sand, WAKE UP, PULL YOUR HEAD OUT and inquire from your own children: Why is “Moishy” or “Chani” always crying and hiding in the corner, away from the mainstream? Why are their parents at a loss to understand the “stomach aches” every morning??

      This is real!! The child abuse is b”H being addressed and this topic requires the same urgent attention…it’s a different form of abuse.


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