[HISTORY: Adopted by the Legislature of the County of Monroe 6-12-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the law "Prohibiting Cyberbullying in Monroe County."
The Legislature finds that:
Bullying is a long-standing problem among school-aged children in Monroe County and throughout the nation. With increasing accessibility to electronic means of communication, bullying has transformed from a predominately school-based issue into a broader societal problem.
Recent studies indicated cyberbullying affects about one in five students today.
A bullied child can no longer count on respite from attacks upon returning home from school. Cyberbullying can be a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week problem.
Several states have enacted laws criminalizing cyberbullying. To date, the New York State Legislature has failed to take action on this problem. Monroe County should not wait for New York State to act and should implement legislation to discourage and prevent cyberbullying from occurring.
The purpose of this chapter is to ban cyberbullying against minors in Monroe County.
As used in this chapter:
- COMPUTER NETWORK
- The interconnection of hardware or wireless communication lines with a computer through remote terminals, or a complex consisting of two or more interconnected computers.
- The County of Monroe, New York.
- With intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or place another in fear of personal injury, engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts of abusive behavior over a period of time by communication or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, posting statements or images on the Internet, through a computer network, or via cell or smart phone. Acts of abusive behavior shall include, but not be limited to: taunting; threating; intimidating; insulting; tormenting; humiliating; disseminating sexually explicit photographs, either actual or modified, of a minor; disseminating the private, personal or sexual information, either factual or false, of a minor without lawful authority.
- Any natural person or individual under the age of 18.
- Any natural person, individual, corporation, unincorporated association, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association, or other entity or business organization of any kind.
It shall be unlawful for a person to engage in cyberbullying against any minor in Monroe County.
Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 per offense and/or up to one year's imprisonment.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or article of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such determination shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or article thereof directly involved in the proceeding in which such adjudication shall have been rendered.
This chapter shall be null and void on the day that statewide or federal legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this chapter or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by Monroe County. The County Legislature may determine via mere resolution whether or not identical or substantially similar statewide legislation has been enacted for the purposes of triggering the provisions of this section.