A Rockland County law barring where registered sex offenders can reside was struck down late last month by New York State Supreme Court Justice William A. Kelly because it conflicted with existing state regulations. In an immediate and strong response last week to eliminate the preemption, Senate majority leader Malcolm A. Smith, D-Queens, joined Senator Craig Johnson, D-Port Washington, at a Mineola news conference to announce a measure that would prohibit registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park or day-care center, the precise residence requirement contained in the local law that was stuck down. The … Read the rest
New York’s legislative leaders, at the request of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, have introduced a new and comprehensive bill known as the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) that establishes vital protections against sexual predators so that users of the Internet can more safely surf the Web.
e-STOP would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers, and would give access to that information to online social networking companies. Those sites would then be able to pre-screen and block access by convicted sex offenders.
According to the … Read the rest
MySpace, the country’s largest social-networking Web site, has agreed with attorneys general of 49 states to take new steps to protect children from sexual predators and bullies on its site. MySpace also agreed to lead a nationwide effort to develop technology to verify the ages and identities of Internet users. The popular online hangout will create a task force of industry professionals to improve the safety of users, and other social-networking sites will be invited to participate.
“We must keep telling children that they’re not just typing into a computer. They’re sharing themselves with the world,” said North Carolina Attorney … Read the rest
Courts continue to find it important that schools fulfill their non-delegable duty of protecting their students. Recently, the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Matter of Binghamton City School District v. Peacock, Docket No. 502329, held that public policy supports a no-leniency standard for teachers that instill harm on their students. The court clearly delivered this message when it held that a two-year suspension for a teacher who engaged in a grossly inappropriate relationship with a sixteen year old student was too lenient.
The case centers on a teacher where there is evidence that he helped the student purchase … Read the rest
The New York State School Boards Association New York State School Boards Association has issued tips to recognize signs of possible educator sexual misconduct. State reports say many of the sex offender teachers and administrators maintained sexual relationships with students for months or years, with subtle signs of the abuse discounted or missed by colleagues and students.
Some tips to recognize signs of possible educator sexual misconduct include:
– Student has difficulty walking or sitting, torn clothing, stained or bloodied underwear, pain or itching in the genital area, venereal disease, pregnancy, and changes in weight.
– Sexual behavior inappropriate … Read the rest
An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic. A seven-month investigation in which reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2001 through 2005 found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned following allegations of sexual misconduct. The number of abusive educators is equal to nearly three for every school day. At least half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to their misconduct.
Young people were the … Read the rest
In connection with the settlement of its consumer fraud investigation of Facebook, the New York State Attorney General’s Office issued advice to parents to take preventive steps to keep their children safe from sexual predators and issued tips on “How to Occupy Space on Social Networking Websites Safely”:
* Be cautious about sharing your personal information online that can be used to locate you offline. This includes your screen name, personal photos, hobbies, social security numbers, address, phone number, bank or credit card number. Remember, websites for underage users are not permitted to request personal information without a parent’s permission.… Read the rest
Facebook will step up the policing of pornography, harassment and inappropriate behavior on its social networking site, settling a consumer fraud investigation by New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Investigators posing as minors on Facebook were repeatedly solicited by adult predators, and the site did a poor job of responding to complaints from investigators posing as minors or their parents.
The settlement implements a new model to enforce safeguards aimed at protecting its network members, especially children and adolescents, from sexual predators, obscene content and harassment.
Under the terms of the agreement Facebook will, amongst other steps: … Read the rest
The Office New York State Attorney General (“OAG”) Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed Facebook for documents related to Facebook’s safety and security representations and complaint resolution mechanisms. The OAG stated that it is concerned that Facebook’s public statements and advertising may be materially misleading and may constitute violations of General Business Law 349 and 350 and Executive Law 63(12). According to the OAG’s letter to Facebook, the OAG, after a preliminary review of Facebook.com, has uncovered evidence demonstrating that (1) underage users are targeted by sexual predators on Facebook, (2) there is widespread pornographic and obscene content of Facebook, and (3) Facebook’s … Read the rest