Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Monday a bill that requires school districts to take action on cyber bullying that affects students in the classroom. The bill, which amends the Dignity for All Students Act, requires schools to develop procedures to deal with cyber bullying even if it occurs off campus, as long as it affects learning. Under this new law, schools will play an important role — working with families, communities and law enforcement — to prevent harassment, bullying and discrimination, and to support a student’s right to learn.

State Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who introduced his own legislation this year — seeking criminal penalties for cyber bullying, — believes the bill was a good first step in that it defines cyber bullying and engages schools. Klein organized an online survey of about 10,000 New York students, the results of which were released last month. More than 75% of students polled said cyber bullying occurs all the time. In addition, 70% said cyber bullying should be illegal and 64% said schools should be required to help students.

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