City leaders applaud Albany's cyberbullying bill
State pols are sending a message to teen cyber bullies: We're not letting you get away with it anymore.
The governor is slated to sign a bill before the end of this legislative session Thursday that would make schools tackle the epidemic head on by creating a school official to handle cyber bullies.
The Senate and Assembly passed the bill Monday night.
In addition to the new anti-bully administrator, the Dignity for All Students Act calls for schools to create protocol for cyberbullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination and urges them to coordinate with law enforcement when necessary.
"In passing this bill, we are acknowledging that intimidating behavior that takes place outside our schools can have a profound effect on the health and well-being of our students," said Queens Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Astoria), the chair of the Assembly's Education Committee.
School employees would also receive new training that would keep them up to speed on new types of harassment.
Advocates said the bill could not come soon enough, as hundreds of students are living with the pain of cyberbullying.
State Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) recently polled 10,000 New York students and found 68% had been cyberbullied, but only 20% reported it due to fear.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn applauded Albany for tackling the issue and said the new law would make a difference in helping city kids.
"Cyberbullying is a real and serious form of harassment to which too many New York City students have fallen victim," she said in a statement.