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City Councilman Calls For Crackdown On Bullying

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A City Councilman in Queens was calling on the Department of Education this week to increase anti-bullying programs in public schools, following the suicide of a 12-year-old girl last month.

As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, Gabrielle Molina was found dead in her Queens Village home late last month by her family.

City Councilman Calls For Crackdown On Bullying

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said afterward that investigators took two computers from the home to determine whether online messages may have led to her death. Molina attended Jean Nuzzi Intermediate School 109 in Queens Village.

One of Gabrielle's friends also attempted suicide as a result of bullying, and is now receiving appropriate care, Weprin's office said.

City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-23rd) said the suicide was a wakeup call "to what is an epidemic throughout the city."

Weprin has urged schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to increase anti-bullying programs, enforce the Dignity for All Students Act that is intended to provide a safe and supportive environment for all New York State students, and tell students not to be bystanders.

"Any middle schooler and high schooler should attend a seminar; a training course, on how to react when the bullying takes place," Weprin said.

Weprin also called for a zero-tolerance policy for bullies with stronger punishment.

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