Tuesday, April 19, 2017

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Ulster cyber-bullying ban signed into law

KINGSTON – It is now illegal to conduct any form of cyber-bullying in Ulster County as County Executive Michael Hein signed the measure into law on Wednesday.

“All of our children are precious and need to know there is help and protection available,” he said. “As technology continues to advance at an ever increasing pace, our youth are more and more susceptible to cyber-bullying with access to the Internet and social medial at their fingertips,” Hein said. “Cyber-bullying is a serious issue and can be devastating to the victim and her family, and can lead to anxiety, depression and in severe cases, suicide.”

Legislature Chairman Kenneth Ronk noted that when he was in school, home was the one place where a bullied child was safe. “It no longer just happens face to face. It follows the victim home and can impact every corner of life.”

He said this new law “is an example of legislation catching up with technology.”


Hein signs the law onWednesday

Jeff Rindler, executive director of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, said the law “allows us to teach our children that behavior has consequences and hopefully make our youth think twice before hitting the ‘send button’.”

A person is guilty of cyber-Bullying of a minor when: with the intent to harass, abuse, intimidate, torment, or otherwise inflict emotional harm on a minor, the actor electronically transmits, anonymously or otherwise:

a) information about such minor which has no legitimate communicative purpose and the actor knows or reasonably should know that the electronic transmission of the information will cause harm to the minor’s reputation or the minor’s relationships with the minor’s parents, family members, friends, peers, employers, and school administrators and faculty; or

b) private sexual information about the minor; or

c) a photograph or a video, whether real or altered, that depicts any uncovered portion of the breasts, buttocks, or genitals of the minor and said photograph or video has no legitimate communicative purpose; or

d. false sexual information about the minor; or

e. information that has no legitimate communicative purpose by appropriating the minor’s name, likeness, e-mail accounts, websites, blogs for the purpose of harassing such minor or other minors.

 


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