A bipartisan agreement has been reached to fix the state’s anti-bullying law — considered the toughest in the nation — in the wake of complaints that is too onerous on school districts.
Republican Gov. Christie announced support Tuesday for an amended bill backed by both parties that will be fast-tracked through the Legislature. It will add $1 million into the Bullying Prevention Fund to help school districts meet the law’s requirements, and it will create a task force to assist with the implementation of the law.
“We know that students have the best opportunity to learn and achieve when they’re in an environment that is safe and free from bullying and intimidation,” Christie said at a news conference flanked by the state’s most prominent gay activist and legislators from each party.
The announcement comes as a high-profile bullying-related trial continues in New Brunswick. Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, committed suicide in 2010 after allegedly being observed in a live webstream during an intimate encounter with a man in his dorm room. His then-roomate, Dharun Ravi, is on trial on bias intimidation and other charges.