Cyberbullying Bill Introduced in NY Assembly

A bill currently in the New York General Assembly would address the problem of cyberbullying, a phenomenon that has attracted national attention over the last several years. In January, New York Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin introduced A.8895.

The Bill defines cyberbullying as:

“engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts of abusive behavior over a period of time by communicating or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, posting statements on the Internet or through a computer network.”

The measure further defines “abusive behavior” as:

“taunting; threatening; intimidating; insulting; tormenting; humiliating; disseminating embarrassing or sexually explicit photographs, either actual or modified, of a minor; disseminating the private, personal or sexual information, either factual or false, of a minor; or sending hate mail.

Corwin introduced the measure in part in response to the September 2011 suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer of Williamsville, N.Y. The Buffalo News reported that Rodemeyer was the subject of cyberbullying and other forms of bullying because he was gay.

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