N.Y. adopts cyber bullying measure—without stronger penalties

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation putting more responsibility on schools to monitor and report incidents of cyber bullying, reports the Buffalo News—but the new measure does not include a more sweeping component sought by some lawmakers and victims of bullying: stronger and clearer penalties for those who harass others via texts, eMail, and social media. The new law follows the suicide last September of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old freshman who blogged often about the bullying he endured for being gay. Local police at the time said their hands were tied in pursuing a case because of the vagueness of state law pertaining to cyber bullying. “This is a very good step,’’ said Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, an Amherst Republican who sponsored legislation that stalled in the Assembly to impose criminal penalties, including jail time, for cyber bullying. But, he added, “I think at some point in time we will need to define this in such a way that says to society, whether adults or young adults, that this activity is criminal in nature.”

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