According to the comptroller’s audit, some schools “underreported incidents or failed to report them at all, including one case in which a school failed to report cyberbullying, despite the fact that the police were involved.”Meanwhile, and most disturbingly, in many instances, parents and guardians are being left in the dark by school districts when their children are being bullied or involved in an incident of bullying. Although schools are required to report incidents to the state Education Department, the Dignity for All Students Act does not require schools to alert parents when their child has been bullied or is believed to be the perpetrator of bullying. The law currently leaves it up to each school district to develop its own policy for parental notification. Sadly, this serious gap in state law has led to fatal consequences. In April 2015, 13-year-old Jacobe Taras of Fort Edward tragically took his own life as a result of bullying. Jacobe’s parents, Christine and Richard Taras, say they were not notified by Jacobe’s school of the extent of bullying he faced. That’s why I am sponsoring legislation, “Jacobe’s Law,” to require that schools notify parents when a child is being threatened by a bully. “Jacobe’s Law” (S.1355B/A.8114B) requires that school employees charged with receiving reports of harassment, bullying or discrimination make a reasonable and good-faith effort to contact the parents or guardians of the students involved – both the bully and the victim — in an incident of bullying or harassment. Bullying is defined based on what’s listed in the Dignity for All Students Act under Article 2 of the state’s Education Law, and it outlines what incidences schools are currently required to report to the state Education Department. Categories: Editorial, OpinionNo child should have to experience bullying in or out of school. While bullying has existed within the bricks and mortar of our schools for years, the prevalence of new communications technologies like smart phones and social media have compounded the problem by giving bullies a thermonuclear weapon to harass and torment their victims exponentially.It used to be that once children left school grounds and got off the school bus, they were largely free from bullying. But with the internet and social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram, there is no escape and no sanctuary from the emotional trauma inflicted by bullies.Besides the physical abuse, every child’s step or misstep can now be videoed, photographed and tweeted for the whole world to see and potentially ridicule. In 2012, the Dignity for All Students Act became law as a means to address bullying in our schools. Unfortunately, over the past five years, we have seen an alarming number of gaps in the law.A new audit by the state comptroller’s office found that over this period, 31 percent of schools did not report incidents of bullying and harassment to the state Education Department as required by law. “Jacobe’s Law” is a nonpartisan bill which unanimously passed the Senate earlier this year. Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) is sponsoring the bill in the Assembly. Schools should make parents aware of threats of violence to their children so that a parent or guardian can take action they deem appropriate and have input on decisions of how best to protect their child’s safety and emotional well-being.Our educational system continues to ask and urge parents to be more involved in their children’s education through the PTA and volunteering at our schools. Yet we don’t require schools to notify them of incidents of emotional and physical bullying. That just doesn’t make sense!If the statistics and incidences of bullying are important enough to report to the administrators at State Ed, then they are important enough to make parents aware of to intervene and potentially help avert a tragedy.My heart goes out to the Taras family and all the families that have faced this devastating tragedy related to bullying. I can only hope that through “Jacobe’s Law,” we can bring about a positive change that can involve parents in helping to stop bullying and save lives.State Sen. Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-REF-Glenville) represents the 49th Senate District, which includes parts of Saratoga, Schenectady and Herkimer counties and all of Fulton and Hamilton counties.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census
Johnny Scott found the top side of the track to his liking in racing from 18th starting to win Friday’s IMCA Modified Frostbuster feature at Marshalltown Speedway. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (April 7) – Johnny Scott was understandably impressed by the quality of the IMCA Modified feature field at Marshalltown Speedway’s Frostbuster special Friday night.The New Mexico native, now racing out of Cameron, Mo., was the most impressive, racing from 18th starting to top the $1,000 to win event ahead of Kyle Brown and Hunter Marriott.“There were a lot of good cars here tonight. We got a break when we got a caution with five or six laps to go and restarted seventh,” he said. “I stayed on the outside, ran side-by-side with Kyle and finally cleared him for the lead coming to the white flag.”“Everything worked out for us,” Scott added. “We’ve run in the top five at Marshalltown before and it feels good to finally win here.”Chris Simpson and Clint Luellen completed the top five finishers. Scott was already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.More than 160 cars were entered for the first of three weekend Frostbusters. Boone Speedway hosts the Saturday event, Benton County Speedway at Vinton the Sunday show.Newton High School sophomore Ethan Braaksma got on the road to Marshalltown right after class on Friday and drove to his career first Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature win.Starting his second full season in the division, Braaksma drew the pole, found the top side to his like and led another field full of heavy hitters to the checkers.“I kind of held my line and drove away with it,” he said. “I couldn’t find anything on the bottom so I went back to the top.”Runner-up was Sam Wieben and Austin Luellen was third.Damon Murty won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature, ahead of Jay Schmidt and Randy Brands. Benji Irvine got the best of his IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock foes, with Nathan Ballard second and Eric Stanton third.Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Johnny Scott; 2. Kyle Brown; 3. Hunter Marriott; 4. Chris Simpson; 5. Clint Luellen; 6. Adam Larson; 7. Todd Shute; 8. Jason Wolla; 9. Jacob Murray; 10. Jesse Hoeft; 11. Josh Gilman; 12. Ronn Lauritzen; 13. Jimmy Gustin; 14. Casey Skyberg; 15. Trent Jackson; 16. T.J. Smith; 17. Joel Rust; 18. Tim Lemirande; 19. Adam Reed; 20. Gatlin Leytham; 21. Jenae Gustin; 22. Racer Hulin; 23. Mike Van Genderen; 24. Justin Medler.Stock Cars – 1. Damon Murty; 2. Jay Schmidt; 3. Randy Brands; 4. Mitch Hovden; 5. Justin Temeyer; 6. Tyler Pickett; 7. Angel Munoz; 8. Larry Karcz; 9. Kyle Brown; 10. Jake Nelson; 11. Bret Koehler; 12. Jeremy Swanson; 13. Abe Huls; 14. Trent Murphy; 15. David Bouche; 16. Chris Wiltse; 17. Dave Atcher; 18. Tyler Muirhead;19. Todd Reitzler; 20. Jerry Winkler; 21. Jeff Mueller; 22. Michael Murphy; 23. Kevin Balmer.24. Brendon LaBatte.Northern SportMods – 1. Ethan Braaksma; 2. Sam Wieben; 3. Austin Luellen; 4. Jake McBirnie; 5. Johnathon Logue Jr.; 6. Carter VanDenBerg; 7. Wyatt Block; 8. Brandon Schmitt; 9. Hunter Parsons; 10. Tim Warner; 11. Chase Rudolf; 12. Kyle Olson; 13. Thomas Egenberder; 14. Vince Engebregtsen; 15. Lynn Brockett; 16. Dan Melton; 17. Kevin Bethke; 18. Scott Williams; 19. Dusty Masolini; 20. Cory Pestotnik; 21. Jon Schultz; 22. Brett Meyer; 23. Joey Schaefer; 24. Jason Mason.Hobby Stocks – 1. Benji Irvine; 2. Nathan Ballard; 3. Eric Stanton; 4. Shannon Anderson; 5. Billy Rhoades; 6. Eric Knutson; 7. Aaron Rudolph; 8. Clint Nelson; 9. Bryce Sommerfeld; 10. Shawn Kuennen; 11. Luke Bird; 12. Garrett Eilander; 13. Tyson Overton; 14. Dustin Graham; 15. Justin Wacha; 16. Eugene Nicklas; 17. Ryan Wells; 18. Solomon Bennett; 19. Gary Pfantz; 20. Leah Wroten; 21. Dylan Nelson; 22. Kenny Hay; 23. Brian Derry; 24. Brandon Cox.
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