Family pushes for law on notification about bullying

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HAUPPAUGE -

A family who lost their son to suicide is continuing to push for a state law that would require schools to notify parents about bullying.

Jacobe's Law is named for Jacobe Taras, who died after his family says he was bullied in school. The proposed law would standardize bullying notifications in New York state, so that the parents of a bullying victim and the parents of the alleged bully would be notified when a bullying incident is reported.

Each school district currently has its own rule when it comes to how bullying incidents are reported.

"There is no constant criteria across the board for each school system," says Jacob Taras' father, Richard.

"I believe that if parents were involved, and everyone is notified, that you can come to a true solution," he says.

VIDEO: Interview on Jacobe's Law

Eight states across the country have bullying notification laws. But some LGBTQ groups are pushing back against the proposed law. They say though it's important for parents to know if a child is bullied, there are some gay children who may not be out to their parents just yet and the formal notifications could force that discussion.

Though some anti-bullying advocates believe Jacobe's Law is a step in the right direction, they feel it needs to be part of a larger more comprehensive approach to tackling bullying in schools.

Joseph Salamone, of the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying, says the proposal is just one part of the equation.

"In order to interrupt and break the cycle, we need to take an involvement into why a child is engaging in bullying behavior," he says.

Jacobe's Law was passed by the state Senate but has stalled in the Assembly.

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