CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

NJ Legislature Approves Tougher Bullying Law

View Comments
Tyler Clementi - Photo: CBS

Tyler Clementi (credit: CBS)

Christine Sloan thumbnail Christine Sloan
Emmy-award winning journalist Christine Sloan joined CBS 2 News in...
Read More

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

TRENTON, N.J. (AP/WCBS 880/CBS 2/1010 WINS) — New Jersey lawmakers signed off Monday on what could be the toughest anti-bullying law in the nation, and it passes exactly two months after Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide.

There were hugs and tears in the New Jersey State Senate as the tough anti-bullying bill was approved, reports CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

For the Otto family, it is personal after their son endured years of bullying because he is gay.


1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“We were very fortunate, because our son did come home and told me,” Kim Otto said. “He told me, and I was able to get him immediate help.”

While the bill isn’t named after Clementi, he was on the minds of many, including Matt Zimmer, who went to Ridgewood High School with him.

“I just started crying as soon as he passed away,” Zimmer said. “It was crazy that there’s not just bullying in school, there’s also cyber-bullying, and it’s everywhere.”


WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reports

Zimmer said he was taunted for years for being gay himself, and that his school administration turned its back on him.

“I had a teacher ask me if I’d come out in front of my class,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer, now a freshman in college, has been going to school online.


Related Audio: WCBS 880′s Fran Schneidau on a cyberbullying conference in Hartford

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainier Huttle sponsored the bill. She said the legislation, if signed into law, would create awareness programs in all of New Jersey’s public schools. It would also force counselors to send reports of complaints about bullying to superintendents and school boards.

“It sets a policy of safety teams throughout the schools,” she said. “After all, 160,000 kids are afraid to go to school today.”

While the sponsor of the bill said Governor Chris Christie will sign the bill into law, no one at his office would confirm that with CBS 2 on Monday.

The bill would also require school districts to train teacher to spot bullying incidents that may not be reported.

View Comments