Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NJ legislature passes tough anti-bullying law for schools and colleges; gay issues not specifically mentioned

Both houses of the New Jersey legislature have passed the toughest anti-bullying law in the nation, after the Tyler Clementi tragedy. The bill is A 3466, and is available online here 

The Newark Star-Ledger has a brief story by Matt Friedmann here . The law requires vigorous reporting of incidents, even off campus, in public school systems and a code of conduct at universities. Gov. Chris Christie has indicate that he has some concerns over constitutionality. The law does not seem to single out sexual orientation issues for different treatment, but would require age-appropriate training of students. It is called an “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights”.

Maya Rao and Chelsea Conaboy have a longer story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, here.

However, the perpetrators of the Clementi webcam incident have been charged with felony invasion of privacy. It's unlikely that they will be prosecuted for hate crimes.

Generally, conservatives have not approved of the idea of making the penalty for crimes different because of the identity of the victim, but rather focusing on the crime itself.

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