LAKE GROVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — After years of struggle, New York State will soon have the nation’s first anti-cyber bullying law.
The bill just passed through the Assembly and the Senate, and now awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature.
It turns out a young teen victim’s painful past prompted the new action, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.
Now 16, Jamie Isaacs of Lake Grove said he suffered years of cyber bullying abuse at the hands of his classmates. She is now being credited as the catalyst for change.
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“I’m extremely proud. This is the first law of its kind, so it’s definitely cool to know New York State is the first,” Isaacs said.
Isaacs took her fight to Albany, where she lobbied lawmakers on both sides of the aisle by asking them to step into her shoes — the pain of being picked on, beginning in school hallways and then going viral to computers and cell phones, not to mention text messages filled with insulting harassment, taunting and threats.
“I always liked going to school, but I was afraid to go,” Isaacs said, adding when asked if she was deeply hurt, “I was. It was a huge struggle for me and my entire family.”
Isaacs switched to a private school, wrote a book and then began speaking out to vulnerable victims who shared her devastating secret.
“A child can’t escape it and neither can the family. And up until now there really hasn’t been any laws to get this to stop,” said Anne Isaacs, Jamie’s mother.
“It’s a joyous day. Another step in the right direction helping kids,” added her father, Ronald Isaacs.
Once the bill is signed into law students will be taught the potentially deadly hazards of cyber bullying, and school officials, specially trained, will be mandated to respond immediately.
“I hope they feel safer now, or will feel safer next school year. Now they know the school has to take responsibility,” Jamie Isaacs said.
Jamie will next fight to have a criminal charge added as essential to curbing rising harassment blamed on a string of teen suicides.
Cuomo could sign the new anti-cyber bullying bill into law as early as Thursday.
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