Majority Leader Tasha Diaz and Council Confront Cyberbullying

Lead by Majority Leader Tasha Diaz, Yonkers City Council unanimously voted to pass legislation designed to curb cyberbullying. Council’s resolution calls on state leaders to pass and enact bill S.7600, the Senate’s Dignity for All Students Act.

As technology advances and social media platforms continue to be extremely popular with school-aged children, the bill would amend New York State’s Education Law to make cyberbullying a serious offense with a more severe punishment.

The proposed changes to the Education Law would make repeated acts of cyberbullying a misdemeanour, punishable by one year in prison or a maximum $1,000 fine.

The resolution passed by Yonkers City Council also calls for the Governor to sign the bill into law. The resolution urges passing of the bill in order to “provide material protection to the health, safety and welfare of the minors of the State of New York.”

Majority Leader and Education Committee Chair Tasha Diaz is an outspoken advocate of the cyberbullying measures. As reported by the Hudson Valley Press, Diaz remarked:

“It is hard enough being a child today. Our children deserve a chance to learn and develop into young adults without repeatedly having to worry about being targeted, publicly humiliated and harassed by bullies who seek to tear down their self-esteem and sometimes even worse. As parents and elected leaders, we must act to protect school children so that they can develop and live up to their potential without fear that they must face their bullies alone and without support and protection.”

According to a 2016 report from the Cyberbullying Research Center, it is estimated that 33.8% of students between 12 and 17 have been cyberbullied at least once in their lives.

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