New Jersey pushes tough anti-bullying law

Oct. 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Following the suicide of a Rutgers student, New Jersey officials say they're proposing to strengthen the state's anti-bullying laws.

Existing state laws mandating anti-harassment programs and measures to combat cyber-bullying aren't enough, state lawmakers said in unveiling their bipartisan plan to enact the toughest-anti bullying law in the nation, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.

The existing measures "broke some ground, but clearly not enough," state Sen. Diane Allen, R-Burlington, one of the bill's sponsors, said.

"This one's going to make a big, big difference," she said.

The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights would mandate all school employees be trained in how to identify, prevent and report acts of intimidation.

The legislation is necessary because for too many students, "school should be a safe place to learn, but it's become a war zone," state Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Hutton, D-Bergen, said.

On Sept. 22, Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly taped and streamed an intimate encounter Clementi had with another man in their dorm room.

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