The law, which Cuomo signed Monday but doesn't go into effect for another year, defines the crime as harassment, on or off school grounds, taking place through any electronic means, and that "reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student." the measure creates a system for reports of cyberbullying to reach school administrators and calls for teacher training to better identify the crime, the Buffalo News reported.
The new law does not include tougher penalties for those who harass others via social media that had been sought by some lawmakers and bullying victims, the newspaper said.
The new law, passed by the Legislature last month, follows the suicide in September 2011 of 14-year-old Jamie Rodemeyer of Williamsville, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, who blogged about the bullying he endured at school for being gay. Local police were ineffective in pursuing a case, they said at the time, because of the vagueness of state law as it pertains to cyberbullying.