ADL Hails New York's Enactment of Broad Anti-Bullying Legislation

New York, NY, September 8, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hailed the signing into law of broad anti-bullying and anti-harassment legislation designed to protect children in New York state's public schools.

The League today joined with coalition partners in lowerManhattanwhere New York Governor David A. Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) into law. 

"We welcome the enactment of the Dignity for All Students Act, legislation nearly a decade in the making and which ADL has strongly advocated for many years," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director. "The new law will go a long way toward protecting all of New York's school children from the pervasive evils of bullying and harassment. We look forward to working with the New York State Education Department to determine the best methods of implementing DASA's provisions."

DASA will amend state Education Law to protect public school students from severe and pervasive harassment and discrimination, including "verbal threats, intimidation or abuse," based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, religious practice, weight, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. The bill's protections are not limited to these categories.

"The new law is a testament to the determination and dedication of a broad coalition, of which ADL is proud to be a member," added Jeffrey M. Parker, ADL New York Regional Board Chair. "We applaud the efforts of Gov. Paterson and the leadership in Albany for helping make this day possible."

The State Assembly passed DASA in May, and the New York State Senate approved the bill in June. New Yorkbecomes the 43rd state to pass comprehensive anti-bullying legislation.

ADL's New York Region is a leading member of a coalition that has been working in support of DASA for nearly a decade. The coalition includes the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), NYSUT, and the Empire State Pride Agenda.