Recent data indicates an increase in incidents of bullying in New York City schools. This bill would create an Office to Combat Bullying that would advise the Mayor on issues related to bullying in schools, conduct research, recommend efforts to combat bullying in schools and provide educational materials on bullying and its effects to schools. The office would be required to submit an annual report to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council regarding the activities of the office and any recommendations developed by the office.
- Filed (End of Session)
Int. No. 641
By Council Member Eugene
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to establishing an office to combat bullying
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 1 of the New York city charter is amended by adding a new section 19-a to read as follows:
§ 19-a. Office to combat bullying. a. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
Bullying or harassment. The term “bullying” means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, whether verbal or nonverbal, including cyberbullying, that include, but are not limited to, conduct or threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex, and that:
1. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being;
2. Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for such student’s physical safety;
3. Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student; or
4. Creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, even if it occurs off school property, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.
Cyberbullying. The term “cyberbullying” means bullying or harassment that occurs through any form of electronic communication.
Director. The term “director” means the director of the office to combat bullying.
School. The term “school” means any public or private school in the city that contains any combination of grades from and including pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
b. The mayor shall establish an office to combat bullying. Such office may, but need not, be established in the executive office of the mayor and may be established as a separate office or within any other office of the mayor or within any department the head of which is appointed by the mayor. A director appointed by the mayor or head of such department shall head such office.
c. The director shall have the power to:
1. Advise and assist the mayor on issues related to bullying in schools;
2. Conduct research on bullying in schools;
3. Facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information in consultation with relevant city, state and federal agencies and officials, teachers and other education professionals, and organizations working in the field of bullying prevention, student safety and education;
4. Advise and assist the mayor in planning for increased coordination of services related to bullying prevention in schools;
5. Provide educational materials on bullying and its effects to schools, students, parents and residents of the city;
6. Recommend efforts to combat bullying in schools to the mayor; and
7. Perform such other duties as the mayor may assign.
d. No later than August 1, 2018, and by August 1 of every year thereafter, the director shall prepare and submit to the mayor and the speaker of the council a report that includes, but is not be limited to, the activities of the office to combat bullying and any recommendations developed by the director pursuant to subdivision b of this section.
§ 2. This local law takes effect immediately.