New York Lawmakers Propose Bill Making ‘Bullycide’ A Felony

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An alarming trend has New York state lawmakers introducing a bill Monday that would stiffen penalties for online bullying.

State Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx/ Westchester) is proposing statewide legislation to expand second-degree manslaughter to include “bullycide” — online bullying which leads to death. The crime would be considered a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones With Sen. Jeffrey Klein

The proposed legislation comes after the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, of Williamsville, a week ago Sunday. Police said Rodemeyer was driven to commit suicide after high school bullies teased him about his sexuality.

“My son will never be given a second chance, no matter how much I have prayed I cannot turn back the clock,” his mother said.

Two weeks before his death, Rodemeyer wrote on his blog, “I always says how bullied I am. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”

In the wake of Rodemeyer’s death, Lady Gaga posted on Twitter, “The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying and yelling. I have so much anger.”

The singer made good on her promise to take Rodemeyer’s story to the president.

During an exclusive fundraiser Sunday in California, Lady Gaga asked President Barack Obama and wealthy donors to do what they could to prevent bullying.

Obama thanked the singer, mentioned the anti-bullying conference he held in March and spoke of the importance of Americans respecting one another.

Klein is citing Rodemeyer’s death and that of Rutgers freshman 18-year-old Tyler Clementi in calling for stricter penalties.

Clementi  jumped off the George Washington Bridge after discovering he was videotaped during a sexual encounter with another man that was broadcast online. Last Thursday marked the one year anniversary of his death.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

The incident prompted New Jersey to enact strong anti-bullying laws and highlighted the issue of cyberbullying amongst others.

Klein said Diane Savino (D-SI), David Carlucci (D-Rockland County) and David Valesky (D-Madison County) support the bill.

What do you think of the proposal? Let us know below…

  • pete D

    These “kids” are mentally unstable to start with. So if my son says something mean to an mentally unstable kid whom it turn takes his life then my son will be charged with manslaughter??? Im moving to Europe. F*** Obama too.

  • DanTe

    And the pooooosification of America continues. We had bullies when we were young. We bashed their heads in when their back is turned. Problem solved. Stupid gutless whiny turds.

    • KPMc

      My intelligent, well thought out, non-insulting, sensitive comments get deleted after awaiting moderation for days but the above is allowed?

      CBS you are bass ackwards!

  • Sophie Nicole

    Well change the lack of father to – it should be more of get rid of an abusive and authoritarian father . Lack of father does not do anything to a child most people have grown without fathers and are strong mentally and successful in life. You have prejudice and it comes out with how you speak of a father figure. We should respect people who are different from us and i have no right to speak on how one feels when they are bullied till they commit suicide because we are all mentally different(meaning we can not each handle the same pressures that come to us)Like a straight guy does not know how it feels to be gay and a rich man does not know if he will handle being poor in Africa.Actually most fathers have negative effects on their children as compared to women.

    • KPMc

      You claim someone else has prejudices when it comes to fathers but you finish your post with…

      “Actually most fathers have negative effects on their children as compared to women.”

      Kettle… meet pot!

      “You ask me where I got it… I got it from my pops… with a man in the house all the bu!!$h!t stops!”
      -Chuck D

  • roneida

    This is the most insulting proposal I ahve seen floated in a long time. For a felony to be charged, the perp has to do real physical damage with malice aforethought, not jus picked on someone. I was in elementary school in the 50’s and there were lots of A### oles trying to intimidate others. You either got tough, or got a bunch of buddies and dealt with it. That’s how you grow up. Todays kids are so coddled they can not face adversity. Most of them have never ridden a bike without a helmet, gone camping overmight in the woods with only a same age friend or even brushed their own teeth. God help us.

  • reldin

    why don’t we prosecute the parents who failed to give their child the tools to cope with life or to take the necessary actions to stop the bullying?

    • M

      Suicide is not the answer ever, it sounds like you either are and have been a bully in your life and/or you are the parent of one. That statement sounded more like you pulled it out of your rear end. Every single person has the right to be who they are and not be bullied because some ignorant child is to afraid to understand that difference is not something to be feared.
      I am so curious as to your suggestions to what these “tools to cope with life” are?
      You’re and idiot.

  • pierredefermat

    Sorry about the kid, but I understand he did himself in, this reasoning leads to a weak nation. Judo lessons is a good idea. I got hammered also, a lot of looking up at people who were laughing at me on the floor, after being tripped or picking up my books scattered everywhere, getting kicked, punched, you name it. Started swimming and lifting, one day the cheek doesn’t turn and the center of the football team is on your shoulder heading backwards into the wall, and it stops.

    • denise

      Which nowadays is considered assault. Unfortunately.

  • Liz V

    By definition, suicide is the killing of ones self. No one can force to kill yourself. The depths of self loathing are vast, and can be caused by an untold number of reasons. It is absurd to blame anyone for a suicide. Say a bus driver dosen’t accept your metrocard one day, then you can’t get a cab, then you get fired for being late to work, and in the end decide to end it all??? Would all these folks be responsible for bullying you into suicide???

    • Idratherbegolfing

      Wow this could be the dumbest comment I’ve ever read. Not quite sure I get the comparison between not getting on the bus and loosing your job to kids hiding behind their computers and bullying a child unit he takes his own life. There are a lot of issues here that need to be addressed but your comparison is quite a stretch.

      • Jim

        The comment was indeed a real stu pid stretch and clealry came from an ignoramus. Jobs and suicides…sheesh. What planet?

  • starts with the parents

    bullies should be put in boot camps. More states including new york need to send these kids to boot kids where if they mouth off a slap here and there will be helpful.And what about parents who know there kids are bullies they are just as bad.I am thinking of starting a website where people can send pictures of bullies and we can embarass them and see how they feel.

    • Liz V

      I think they should start by telling the kid to get off of the computer. That would sure cut down on cyberbullying as well.

  • badman

    “bullycide” is incorrect – it means that the bully is the one being killed. If they’re gonna do this, they shouldn’t use boneheaded shorthand to name the crime.

    it should just be plain old manslaughter. ditch the “bullycid”e cuteness. it just makes the whole thing sound dumb.

    and Lt Dan, times have changed since you were a young man in World War One. Good for you that you learned how to type on a computer, but it’s probably better for everyone if you just stick to your old Victrola.

  • Lieutenantdan

    What the?
    Look aggressive people are part of society. Aggression comes in many forms and in many people. For example what about all of the bankers and the people at many companies who have stolen much of the money in our citizen’s retirement accounts. This too has led people to despair and even suicide. Should they be locked up? If your child commits suicide the problem probably is deeper than some kids picking on the child. You have brought your child up
    lacking confidence. The importance of a Dad in a child’s life and a less controlling Mother would help. Judo lessons as well.

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