SENATE BILL – S 1987-B (A 3661-C): “Dignity for All Students Act” to afford all students in public schools an environment free of harassment and discrimination based on actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex; passed by the NY State Senate on June 22, 2010, signed by the governor on September 8, 2010. “‘Harassment’ shall mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.” Requires “instruction in civility, citizenship and character education.” Scheduled to take effect July 1, 2012.
Takes effect July 1, 2013: “The legislature also recognizes that most cyberbullying originates off-campus, but nonetheless affects the school environment and disrupts the educational process, impeding the ability of students to learn and too often causing devastating effects on students’ health and well-being.” Includes behavior that “occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment…” http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S7740-2011
“Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (LEAD)” – (Proposed April 29, 2011—still active as of June 21, 2012). http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S4921-2011; argues: “it is imperative that any legislation aimed at protecting students from bullying includes a prohibition of acts of cyberbullying when such acts create a hostile environment for the student at school or materially and substantially disrupt the educational process or the orderly operation of a school.” That said, the proposed law does not appear to include any specific language that would explicitly allow school intervention in behaviors that occur away from school.
Commissioner’s Regulation 100.2 (l) and Education Law 2801 and Education Law 2801-a: Requires each board of education to adopt and enforce a code of conduct, which includes disciplinary measures to be taken in incidents involving the use of physical force or harassment. Requires school safety plans to contain strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence.
H.B. A04028 (S 7158) – (Proposed in 2009 but never enacted): Increases penalty for some forms of hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony. Adds provisions to education law which would prohibit “bullying and cyber-bullying on school property, including a school function.” Establishes a class B misdemeanor of failure to report hazing and requires instruction to discourage bullying and cyber-bullying in schools and polices for schools to be enacted. “‘Cyber-bullying’ means a course of conduct or repeated acts of abusive behavior by communicating through electronic means, with a person anonymously or otherwise over a period of time committing such acts as, but not limited to, taunting, insulting, humiliating, harassing, menacing, sending hate mail or embarrassing photographs.”
Aggravated criminal harassment (includes electronic forms): Aggravated harassment in the second degree.
Criminal electronic harassment (does not expressly include electronic forms): Harassment in the second degree.