Notifying Parents About School Bullying is Focus of Bill in Albany


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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — From elementary school to middle school Jacobe Taras was bullied. At 13-years-old, he took his own life. 

“Dear mom and dad, I am sorry, but I cannot live anymore. I just can’t deal with all the bullying,” said Christine Taras, Jacobe’s mother, reading the note her son left behind.





Christine said her son was a good kid who loved soccer and boy scouts.

For two years Jacobe’s parents have traveled to the state capitol in Albany to advocate for legislation that would require schools to notify parents when their child is being bullied.

“I think parents need to know and I know parents aren’t knowing,” Christine said.





















Some lawmakers agree.

“I can tell you that they believe, and I believe if they were notified, he very well would be alive today,” Sen. James Tedisco (R-44th District) said tearfully.

Through this bill, lawmakers intend to set a reporting standard for bullying in schools.

The Dignity for All Students Act, passed in 2012, requires schools to report incidents of bullying to the New York State Department of Education. But it does not require schools to call their parents. Some schools choose to notify parents while others choose not to.









The bill has passed in previous years in the Senate but has not passed in the Assembly. This year it died once again in an Assembly committee.

 

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