New York Law: NY legislators back anti-bullying bill

New York Law: NY legislators back anti-bullying bill


05/17/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

New York, NY—While some places across the United States have done little about bullying, everyone agrees that it is a problem. New York school administrators and state legislators are now moving to do something about the growing issue. Lawmakers have created new legislation to help fight against bullying at both the state and district level, as reported by

The legislation, Dignity for All Students Act, is being sponsored by Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, D-Manhattan. The bill would require school districts to implement policies that would deter harassment and discrimination against students regardless of background, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other characteristics. If cases of harassment or bullying occurred at school, administrators would have to report the instances to the State Department under the proposed bill.

The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

According to Bully Police USA, an anti-bullying advocacy group, only forty-three states have enacted anti-bullying laws since 1999. The watchdog group also assigns a letter grade to each state based on their bullying laws or lack thereof. New York recently received an “F” by the group.

Some are worried that the state’ economic condition will kill the legislation. According to a 2009 state Education Department financial analysis of the Dignity For All Students Act, the bill could cost an upwards of $53 million. The cost consists of mostly training expenses. The department asserts that the estimate is no longer true because of amendments that have been made to the bill.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New York government lawyers.

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