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Cyberbullying task force bill introduced in State Senate

Lisa-Michelle Kucharz of Valley Stream, who was a victim of cyberbullying, helped to come up with the proposal.

Lisa-Michelle Kucharz, seen here on Oct. 25, 2017.

Lisa-Michelle Kucharz, seen here on Oct. 25, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) introduced a bill Tuesday that would help combat cyberbullying throughout the state.

The bill would create a task force made up of parents, students, school administrators and community leaders to address the impact of cyberbullying, according to a news release. The group would suggest ways school districts can implement cyberbullying policies and identify the most common victims of online harassment.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 percent of students nationwide experience cyberbullying.

“This much-needed Task Force will take a close look at the issue and report back with workable solutions,” Kaminsky said in the release. “We need to act swiftly to put an end to bullying — our children deserve no less.”

Kaminsky is in the minority in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.

Kaminsky teamed up with Lisa-Michelle Kucharz, 48, of Valley Stream, to come up with the proposal. Kucharz was harassed online for about two years by a woman who eventually pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and was sentenced to jail. The experience pushed Kucharz to ask Kaminsky to take up the issue, she said.

“Something that I had hoped for as I was still going through my ordeal was that it was going to be able to help others avoid it, prevent it or handle it well,” Kucharz said. “It means a lot to me that the state is going to address cyberbullying, especially for youth.”

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