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Legislature hears public on proposed cyber-bullying law

Dec 14, 2016 6:45 am

Patricia Doxsey is reporting in the Daily Freeman the public weighed in Tue., Dec. 13, on the Ulster County Legislature's proposed new cyber-bullying law. Lawmakers want to make the offense a misdemeanor carrying a possible jail sentence. The opinions expressed at the public hear were just about evenly split, Doxsey writes. Supporters of the law, including two assistant county attorneys, said the law would provide another tool for school administrators, law enforcement and parents to deal with cyber-bullying. Opponents said the law, which targets teens, would strip parents and schools of their authority to deal with cyber-bullying, create a new class of teen criminal and reinforce the school-to-prison pipeline. The proposed legislation, introduced by Ulster County Executive Michael Hein in January, would make it a crime for a person “with intent to threaten abuse, intimidate, torment or otherwise inflict emotional harm on a minor,” to electronically transmit a variety of person information not of public concern that they know will inflict emotional harm on that minor. Anyone under the age of 16 accused of violating the law would be prosecuted in Family Court. Those over the age of 16, would be charged with a misdemeanor. First-time offenders could be sentenced to probation, while repeat offenders could face jail time. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

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