New Bullying Law May Be Too Tough, Schools Say
A tough new law cracking down on school bullies takes effect today in New Jersey.
Called the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the law was sparked by the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi last year, The New York Times reports. Clementi jumped off a bridge after his college roommate secretly used a webcam to film him in bed with another man and stream it over the Internet.
Parents and educators welcome the effort to stop bullies, and supporters of the new law say it has to be tough to cope with kids who can now be especially mean and damaging on online sites like Facebook.
But some school administrators say the new rules are too strict to enforce properly. “I think this has gone well overboard,” Richard G. Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, told The Times. “Now we have to police the community 24 hours a day. Where are the people and the resources to do this?”
Under the new law, school districts will be monitored and graded by the State Education Department on their efforts to deal with bullies, and each school must appoint a team to deal with bullying complaints. From the Times:
The law … orders principals to begin an investigation within one school day of a bullying episode, and superintendents to provide reports to [the State Education Department] twice a year detailing all episodes. Statewide, there were 2,846 such reports in 2008-9, the most recent year for which a total was available.
What do you think? Is this new law the right way to deal with bullies?
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