Directs the commissioner of education to promulgate rule and regulations that prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying of students; school districts shall be responsible for making copies of such policies available to parents, guardians, students, volunteers and school employees.
BILL NUMBER:S2288 REVISED 1/25/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to harassment prevention policies
PURPOSE: Prohibits harassment, intimidation or bullying in schools.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 313-b to outline and define harassment prevention policies. Part 1. The commissioner of the education department shall promulgate rules and regulations that prohibit the harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student. It is the responsibility of each school district to make available copies of such policies to parents, guardians, students, volunteers and school employees.
Part 2. Defines "harassment, intimidation or bullying" as any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act with the intention to physically harm a student or damage a student's property, interfere with a student's education, disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Part 3. The commissioner shall consult with parents, school personnel and other interested parties and provide to school districts a model harassment, intimidation or bullying prevention policy. The commissioner shall post the model policy, recommended training materials and instructional materials on the department's website.
Part 4. By August 1, 2014, the commissioner shall update the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy to include a section addressing acts of harassment that are conducted via electronic means. The policy shall include materials to educate parents and students about the severity of cyber-bullying. If a school district has internet use policies, the act of harassing, intimidating or bullying another student online shall be included as a prohibited act and be subject to disciplinary action.
JUSTIFICATION: Safety in our schools is an important issue. The problem of school bullying has intensified. The U.S. Secret Service has concluded that not only do these "bullying" incidents have serious psychological consequences; they also often lead to school violence and in extreme cases, to school shootings. Over 30% of American school children in grades six through 10 have been bullied or have bullied others. Furthermore, 40% of individuals that were bullies as children grow into adults with three or more convictions. With the advancement of technology new avenues for bullying have challenged the traditional form of school bullying. Cyber-bullying differs from the more traditional forms of bullying in that it can occur any time. Additionally, its messages and images can be anonymous, difficult to trace and viewed by a much wider and perhaps unintended audience. Recent cases of bullying on
websites such as Myspace and YouTube have shown how cruel and harmful cyber-bullying can be. Several states have already enacted legislation which requires school districts to create and enforce a code of ethics that prohibits cyber-bullying not only on school grounds but through school electronic resources. This legislation is modeled after these statutes and is intended to assist school districts in dealing with this increasing problem.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.5051 of 2012 Referred to Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2288 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. BALL -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to harassment prevention policies THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 313-b to read as follows: S 313-B. HARASSMENT PREVENTION POLICIES. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT PROHIBIT THE HARASSMENT, INTIM- IDATION OR BULLYING OF ANY STUDENT. IT SHALL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT TO MAKE AVAILABLE COPIES OF SUCH POLICIES TO PARENTS, GUARDIANS, STUDENTS, VOLUNTEERS AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES. 2. AS USED IN THIS SECTION: (A) "HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING" SHALL MEAN ANY INTENTIONAL ELECTRONIC, WRITTEN, VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ACT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ONE SHOWN TO BE MOTIVATED BY ANY CHARACTERISTIC IN SECTION 240.25, 240.26, 240.30 OR 240.31 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR OTHER DISTINGUISHING CHAR- ACTERISTICS, WHEN THE INTENTIONAL ELECTRONIC, WRITTEN, VERBAL OR PHYS- ICAL ACT: (1) PHYSICALLY HARMS A STUDENT OR DAMAGES THE STUDENT'S PROPERTY; OR (2) HAS THE EFFECT OF SUBSTANTIALLY INTERFERING WITH A STUDENT'S EDUCATION; OR (3) IS SO SEVERE, PERSISTENT OR PERVASIVE THAT IT CREATES AN INTIM- IDATING EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT; OR (4) HAS THE EFFECT OF SUBSTANTIALLY DISRUPTING THE ORDERLY OPERATION OF THE SCHOOL. (B) "ELECTRONIC" OR "ELECTRONIC MEANS" SHALL MEAN ANY COMMUNICATION WHERE THERE IS THE TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION BY WIRE, RADIO, OPTICAL CABLE, ELECTROMAGNETIC OR OTHER SIMILAR MEANS. SUCH TERMS SHALL INCLUDE,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01723-01-3 S. 2288 2
BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, COMMUNICATION VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL, INTERNET-BASED COMMUNICATIONS, PAGER SERVICE, CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONIC MESSAGING. 3. THE COMMISSIONER, IN PROMULGATING SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS, SHALL CONSULT WITH PARENTS, SCHOOL PERSONNEL AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROVIDE TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS A MODEL HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY AS WELL AS TRAINING MATERI- ALS FOR USE IN IMPLEMENTING SUCH POLICY. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL POST THE MODEL POLICY, RECOMMENDED TRAINING MATERIALS AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE. 4. THE COMMISSIONER, BY AUGUST FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, SHALL UPDATE THE HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING POLICY TO INCLUDE A SECTION ADDRESSING ACTS OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING THAT ARE CONDUCTED VIA ELECTRONIC MEANS. THE POLICY SHALL INCLUDE A REQUIREMENT THAT MATERIALS MEANT TO EDUCATE PARENTS AND STUDENTS ABOUT THE SERIOUS- NESS OF CYBERBULLYING BE DISSEMINATED TO PARENTS OR MADE AVAILABLE ON A SCHOOL DISTRICT'S WEBSITE. THE MATERIAL SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION ON RESPONSIBLE AND SAFE INTERNET USE AS WELL AS WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IF A STUDENT IS BEING BULLIED VIA ELECTRONIC MEANS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, REPORTING THREATS TO LOCAL POLICE AND WHEN TO INVOLVE SCHOOL OFFICIALS, THE INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER OR PHONE SERVICE PROVIDER. IF A SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS INTERNET USE POLICIES, THE ACT OF HARASSING, INTIM- IDATING OR BULLYING ANOTHER STUDENT VIA ONLINE MEANS SHALL BE INCLUDED AS A PROHIBITED ACT AND BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation neces- sary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.