Picente, Maciol and McNamara Back Cyber-Bullying Legislation

County Executive Picente along with Countywide Law Enforcement Elected Officials Call For Passage of Cyber-Bullying Legislation

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, surrounded by the Oneida County Sheriff, Oneida County District Attorney, members of the education community and Oneida County Legislators called for the passage of the anti-cyber-bullying legislation, introduced by Legislator Speciale to be passed into local law.

Picente Said “In Oneida County when there is a community problem we don’t turn our backs or put our head in the sand. We certainly don’t play politics with it. We come together and find the right way to go forward. Cyber-bullying is a problem that cannot be ignored. Children, parents and their families are destroyed by this and it has to stop.”

The legislation makes cyber-bullying an unclassified misdemeanor with a fine of 500 to 1000 dollars and/or a one year imprisonment. The legislation outlines harassment including but not limiting to  willful intent to coerce, extort, abuse, torment, threaten, terrify or intimidate a person, that serves no legitimate purpose, and causes someone to suffer.

County Executive Picente went on to say “Children have the right to go to school without fear. Parents have the right to send them there without fearing for them. Social networks shouldn’t be a place people go to abuse, torment or terrify others. As a community we are better than that. This legislation is the right way to start to combat this societal problem.”

"As we have seen throughout society, the harm inflicted from bullying is a serious matter.  Far too often, the person being bullied resorts to suicide as a means of escaping the relentless abuse.  Unfortunately, bullies like many other criminals, have adopted modern innovations as a means to committing their crimes.  This legislation is a positive step toward protecting those who are victimized by tormentors using cyberspace to inflict serious and, sometimes deadly, harm." District Attorney Scott McNamara.

"We have seen throughout Oneida County and the Country, the damage to children, families and friends because of never-ending bullying.  In many cases the relentless abuse leaves the victim to contemplate and often times attempt and commit suicide.  Unfortunately, bullies like many other criminals, have migrated to new technologies like the internet and social networks to continue to torment their victims. This legislation gives local law enforcement another tool to combat the serious crimes of harassment and abuse that have devastated so many families in every neighborhood.” Oneida County Sheriff, Rob Maciol.

“Since 2012 this was very much a grassroots’ effort. Residents were involved in every step of this process from their feedback to their input in the way the law should be written. This is a problem that affects all of Oneida County. Bullying has gone from the schoolyard to the internet and there is no respite for victims from their perpetrators. The bully now can wrap him or herself in anonymity and suffer no consequences for their actions. This law is another step in protecting children and their families from unrelenting abuse.” – Oneida County Legislator Harmony Speciale.