Legislators urge swift passage of cyber-bullying law

Jun 1, 2012

Several local members of the state delegation are pushing for swift passage of the cyber-bullying law currently pending in Albany. 

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says the bill came about after bullying victim Jamie Rodemeyer, a Williamsville teenager, committed suicide last September. 

Ranzenhofer says the issue pervades the entire state and he is challenging Governor Cuomo to "get on board."   The Amherst Republican says the updated bill defines the law and aids police how to handle alleged cases of cyber-bullying.

"We are going to provide tools to law enforcement to deal with this type of activity and to let kids know, and to let others know, that you can't engage in this type of activity without consequences," Ranzenhofer said.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns says the bill needs to be passed before the current session ends later this month.  Kearns, a South Buffalo Democrat, says the pain caused by cyber-bullying can last a lifetime because a message on the Internet never goes away. 

Kearns says cyber-bullying is a recurring crime. He says it's not like the old days of the "schoolyard bully."

"This is a crime that someone is re-living on a daily basis," Kearns said.

Clarence Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin  says the bill has bi-partisan support in both chambers, which indicates that it is not a political issue.