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Gov. Paterson Signs Antibullying Bill

Gov. Paterson Signs Antibullying Bill

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Students in New York State who are bullied in schools will have a little more protection after Gov. David Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act into law Wednesday.

"Every student has the right to a safe and civil educational environment, but far too often young people are ruthlessly targeted by bullies," Paterson said in a statement. "Bullying and harassment have disrupted the education of too many young people, and we in government have a responsibility to do our part to create learning environments that help our children prosper."

The law would require school districts to designate at least one staff member per school to be trained in nondiscriminatory instructional and counseling methods, to properly train school employees to certain sensitivities among students, and to make sure each school's code of conduct ensures a harassment- and discrimination-free environment.

The law bans harassment and discrimination under several different classifications, including, but not limited to, the student's actual or perceived "race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex."

The Dignity for All Students Act will fully take effect starting July 1, 2012, but some rules and regulations may be instituted earlier.

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