Anti-Bullying ‘Jacobe’s Law’ Blocked by Assembly Majority

Assemblywoman’s proposal would have alerted parents to bullying incidents in school; measure was blocked by Assembly Majority from becoming law.

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) was disheartened today when Assembly Majority on the Assembly Education Committee voted against her sponsored bill, A.2231, which would enact Jacobe's Law, requiring school administrators to contact the parents or guardians of students when bullying or harassment has occurred.

Jacobe’s Law would ensure a "reasonable and good faith effort" is made by school administrators to notify parents or guardians when there is a verified incident of harassment, bullying or discrimination in school.

“Bullying is one of the biggest issues that kids face today, especially given the emergence of cyberbullying where even past school hours you can be targeted. The Assembly had an incredible opportunity to take a real stand against an increasingly problematic issue that so many of our youth are facing,” said Walsh. “That’s why I am so disappointed that Assembly Majority lawmakers voted this proposal down.

“Jacobe Taras took his own life, at the age of 13, in 2015. Other bullied students, if unaddressed, may lash out to harm others. As a parent myself, it’s a very uncomfortable feeling that any child could be in danger at school unbeknownst to parents who are unable to help. It’s rather shocking Assembly Majority doesn’t feel the same way,” concluded Walsh.