As a collaborative effort, Senator Joseph Addabbo and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a new doctrine against cyber bullying that’s suitable for use in public schools. The new law is designed to enhance schools’ investigation, reporting, intervention, training, and prevention capabilities. Amending a prior State Education Law, the bill requires school districts “to act immediately to end harmful behavior when cyber bullying occurs and to establish protocols to respond to cyber bullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination to prevent recurrences and protect targeted students.” The new legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2013.
A staunch advocate of the cause, Senator Addabbo notes that in 2009 more that 7 million students -ages ranging from 12-18 (28% of all students in this age spectrum)- were bullied at school and more than 1.5 million students (6% of this range) were subject to cyber bullying on or off school grounds. Another survey taken in 2010 exhibited similar statistics. Almost 18 percent had been bullied on school property and 16 percent had experienced cyber bullying via countless social media sites. ~ “If it’s left ignored, bullying can rapidly escalate into even more serious violence and abuse,” warns Senator Addabbo.
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