Cyberbullying taskforce bill to head to the Governor

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – A bill to combat cyberbullying is heading to Governor Cuomo after passing through the New York State legislature this week. 

“I think the COVID pandemic has taught us a lot. Certainly, it has increased the use of technology. We see more students, more kids going on their computers,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said.

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta says cyberbullying has been and continues to be an issue.

“We’ve been fighting for more social workers, psychologists, mental health care givers, for a long time,” Pallotta said.

To address the issue lawmakers have voted to create a cyberbullying task force with nine members. Five would be selected by the Governor, two from the Senate Majority Leader and two from the Assembly Speaker. “We’re legislators, we have all different backgrounds, but maybe not necessarily in what these members are going to represent in child psychology, technology, law enforcement, mental health, social services,” Santabarbara, who noted that there are a few goals for the group, said.

“I think there will be multiple recommendations, will certainly turn into further legislation, but it also may point to maybe we need to invest more funding in certain areas,” Santabarbara said.

The task force report will be due by July 1, 2023.

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