Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan (D-Syosset) has set his sights on an anti-bullying website for his second proposed bill in office.
Lafazan said as a former Syosset Board of Education member, elected at 18 years old, he sees the need for urgency in the fight against bullying both inside the classroom and beyond.
“Social media has exacerbated bullying to unprecedented levels; whereas bullying used to end at the school house doors, bullying is now both amplified and immortalized online, and often continues 24/7. In fact, 75 percent of kids have been exposed to bullying — mostly as bystanders,” Lafazan said, citing a study by Children’s National Medical Center.
The website would be built in conjunction with the Nassau County Police Department and the county’s Department of Health and Human Services and would serve as a clearinghouse for information about bullying, Lafazan said.
“For the sake of our children, there must be zero-tolerance when it comes to bullying,” Lafazan said. “And while eliminating this scourge must be part of a larger societal conversation, this bill is an action that Nassau County can take right now to make a difference in the fight against bullying.”
The bill will be introduced in committee at 1 p.m. Monday and could be before the full legislature by July 9. Lafazan encouraged those interested in the legislation to attend the meeting at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola.
The Center for Disease Control officials have said suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 25-year-olds, and the
A similar website was created in Suffolk County in 2014 after Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker sponsored similar legislation, providing resources for parents, teachers and students who are the victims of bullying or are witnessing bullying among other students.
“Too often, a parent whose child is being bullied does not know how best to help their kid,” Lafazan said. “Too often, a child who is being bullied does now know who to call for help. Too often, a community member does not know what resources are available to help their neighbor.
“This website aims to eliminate these scenarios. We as a government should make it both easy and accessible for individuals who need help to locate the resources they need immediately.”