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New Jersey Governor signs nation’s toughest anti-bullying law

Friday, January 7, 2011

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Thursday, signed what many believe is the nation’s toughest law to fight bullying in institutions of learning.

The new law will require training for most public school employees on how to spot bullying and mandate that all districts form “school safety teams” to review complaints.

It will also require school Superintendents to report incidents of bullying to the state Board of Education or face disciplinary action. Students who bully, harass or intimidate other students could be suspended or expelled.

The measure, passed by New Jersey lawmakers last November, fills gaps in the state’s first anti-bullying law, passed in 2002, that encouraged school districts to set up anti-bullying programs but did not mandate it.

“This is one of the great civil rights laws in New Jersey history, and to have a fairly conservative Republican governor sign it sends a resounding signal to other states,” said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality.

The bill has been in the works for some time but gained attention after the high-profile suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death after his roommate allegedly streamed a romantic encounter between him and another man online.

The law goes into effect at the start of the next school year, and applies to public schools; portions of the new law apply to public colleges as well.

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Filed under: New Jersey

5 more reader comments:

  1. Now to outlaw tanning beds.. ;)

    Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 1:18am
  2. Kids who bully need re-training, too, not to be kicked out.

    Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 1:28am
  3. ^you’re an idiot, Robert. Adults bullying kids in such a way is only one more reason for a bully to remain a bully. Take a psychology class before you go rambling about what fixes the human mind.

    Also, believe me when I say that this is the only good thing this idiot Governor has done for my state. Maybe Christie has a brain after all.

    Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 9:03am
  4. I’m glad you understand now, Kevin. Better late than never, and it’s always good to see proof that people can change because it makes me hopeful. =]

    Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 3:10pm
  5. Kevin Jordan was shot and is now in critical condition

    Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 4:51pm