Cyberbullying bill gets nod

Sunday June 17, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Students in New York will learn the potentially deadly hazards of cyberbullying and school officials will be mandated to re spond 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 in sisted 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, ac cording to the governor’s bill released Saturday. The bill also requires schools to coordinate with police "when appropriate" and de velop 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 op posed to creating a law that be used to prosecute teenagers.


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