New Jersey Implements Tough Anti-Bullying Legislation

5 Sep

Your Black World reports

There is a new state law in New Jersey designed to protect kids from bullying.  It is considered to be the toughest anti-bullying legislation in the country, and has drawn both support and criticism for its structure.  Governor Chris Christie signed the law in January, and it became effective last week.  The law is known as the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.”

The law came from the death of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University who committed suicide after being victimized by bullying.  The legislation is 22-pages long and lists procedures for officials to report and resolve bullying instances in their schools.  The law also requires schools to have anti-bullying specialists and for each district to have an anti-bullying coordinator.

"By strengthening standards for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of bullying this act will help to reduce the risk of suicide among students and avert not only the needless loss of a young life, but also the tragedy that such loss represents to the student’s family and the community at large," the law reads.

Critics of the law state that it puts an unnecessary financial burden on school districts and imposes a large amount of bureaucracy.  Over 200 schools have spent over $259,000 on a DVD and 100-page manual to train their employees on how to comply with the law.  So, bullying is big business.

"It’s messy. It has a lot of layers. When you have that kind of seismic change, it usually takes a little while to figure out how it works … it’s not going to be the work of a day," Moorestown School Superintendent John Bach told Patch. "Like many things, the state requires us to take action, but does not provide us more money."

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