NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students across New York are fighting back against cyber bullies, who attack their victims online.
Now, some stunning results in an online survey seem to indicate just how prevalent the problem has become.
Samuel Lam, 17, is still haunted by the words someone posted on his Facebook page three years ago.
“Wow, how could people be so mean? Just like teenagers, how could they be so irresponsible?” Lam asked CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang. “My entire wall was covered with his like, racial slurs.”
Lam, who admits he suffered emotional trauma, wants his attacker to pay consequences and so do thousands of his peers.
Senator Jeffrey Klein polled 10,000 students across the state in grades 3 through 12, asking them to define cyber bullying and whether it should be considered a crime.
Seventy percent believe it should be illegal. Sixty eight percent said they’ve been personally cyber bullied or witnessed another victim being harassed, but only 1 in 5 reported it.
Senator Klein plans to use the results from the online survey to pass legislation that would make cyber bullying against the law in New York. The measure is expected to define cyber bullying for the first time making it easier to set school policies and to enforce laws.
Lam and his friends so disturbed by the war of words online, they founded a non profit to help victims across the world.
“It’s just as bad as a lot of things we label as crimes in our society and we need to adapt to the times. This is a crime,” Noah Salzman said.
“You can’t do that to people without having ramifications,” said Olivia Novick.
Lawmakers expect to pass a law combating cyber bullies next week.
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