2017-06-21 / Front Page

Fines And Potential Prison Time For Cyberbullying Of Minors

Legislation S.2318, co-sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., that would impose a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year of prison time for those who cyberbully young people under age 18 recently passed the New York State Senate.Legislation S.2318, co-sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., that would impose a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year of prison time for those who cyberbully young people under age 18 recently passed the New York State Senate.Legislation S.2318, co-sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., that would impose a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year of prison time for those who cyberbully young people under age 18 recently passed the New York State Senate.

“The schoolyard bully, who once knocked students down to steal their lunch money, has been replaced in many ways by those who use computers, smart phones and other electronic devices to victimize and threaten young people through cyberbullying,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee.  “This is a particularly insidious form of bullying, and can lead victims to fail in school, live in fear and shame, withdraw from friends and family, and sometimes take their own lives.  We need to take action every day to put a stop to this horrific criminal behavior.”

Under the bill, which amends New York’s Dignity for All Students Act, those convicted of a repeated course of cyberbullying against a person under 18 would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

“While the internet and continuing advances in technology and social media are associated with many positive benefits in terms of education and communication, they are also sometimes wrongly used to torment young people to the point where they no longer believe life is worth living,” said Addabbo.  “We need to punish those who callously and knowingly text, tweet, and post language and images intended to shame, embarrass and hurt others.  The threat of significant fines and prison time might help to serve as a deterrent.”

The legislation, having passed the Senate, is now under consideration by the Assembly Education Committee.

 

 


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