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New York state Senator compares cyber-bullying to drunk driving

Before killing himself recently, a high school freshman talked to his mother about being gay, and he contributed an online video to “It Gets Better”. But the teasing that followed him was relentless. “Years ago, drunken driving wasn’t viewed as a big deal, even though it has the potential to kill people. What we’re doing with bullying is changing people’s perception of it,” said a rep for NY state Senator Jeffrey Klein (pic), who supports legislation to stop cyber-bullying. It comes in the wake of New Jersey enacting the nation’s toughest anti-bullying law after the suicide last year of a gay university student who was bullied. The New Jersey law requires a uniform response to every incidence of bullying, including corrective action plans and time frames for intervention. The proposed legislation in New York to make it easier to prosecute online bullying is aimed at creating a “chilling effect” to discourage the harassment, said Rich Azzopardi, spokesman for state Senator Jeffrey Klein, author of the bill. Azzopardi said.

[via IOL.co.za]