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Back to school means back to bullying. But this year might be different when it comes to bullying.

A law that was put into action July 1 takes a stand against bullying and harassment. The Dignity for All Students Act protects public school students from bullying and harassment. Bullying against race, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religious practice, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability is not allowed in any public school across New York State. If any student is caught bullying and there is proof of it, a teacher must report it.

Violating the law can result in a punishment of up to one year in jail or a fine of $1,000.

So the question is, will this really have an effect on bullying?

"I think this has fixed bullying, but I also believe it's a bit over the top with the fining of $1,000 or having to go to jail for a year," said Katie Colby, a freshman at Niagara Wheatfield High School. "But the dignity act did help with bullying for me. I was a victim of bullying, at school and cyberbullying. It has helped because I feel like I can express myself more and not be afraid to do so."

Andrew Zuccari, a sophomore at Niagara Wheatfield, said, " I think due to the punishments this act will cut down bullying and stop fighting to make the school safer."

Tammy Dobe, a teacher at Niagara Wheatfield, also thinks that this law will help with bullying.

"I think the students will think twice before doing something immature because they know it will result in an investigation," she said.



Olivia Tober is a freshman at Niagara Wheatfield Senior High School.