Erie County Lawmakers Pass Cyberbullying Legislation
Following the suicide of Williamsville teen last year, the Erie County Legislature has unanimously approved cyberbullying legislation. Lawmakers noted how the Williamsville North teenager tragically took his own life after being bullied online for years as they approved the measure. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is looking for public comments on the proposal before deciding whether to sign it into law.
The County Legislature unanimously approved a new local law Thursday making electronic harassment and bullying against minors and students a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail.
The law apparently covers what people write on their own walls about others, and what they write on others walls according to WGRZ.com.
The proposal must now be signed by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for it to go on the books. Spokesman Peter Anderson tells The Buffalo News that Poloncarz will hold a public hearing on the matter before deciding whether to support it.
The proposal was sponsored by Williamsville Republican Legislator Edward Rath III after 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer sadly took his own life. Family and friends say Rodemeyer endured years of bullying in middle school, before committing suicide as a freshman at Williamsville North High School.
Rodemeyer was a fan of Lady Gaga. Gaga paid tribute to the teen at a music festival after his death.