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NJ lawmakers approve tough law to fight bullying

A law against bullying in schools, which advocates call the nation’s toughest because it requires schools to develop anti-harassment programs, was approved Monday in New Jersey, reports the Associated Press. The state General Assembly and Senate both passed the bill overwhelmingly and sent it to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Christie. He said Monday night that he hadn’t read the bill but that the state’s lawyers have raised concerns over whether its provisions infringe on constitutional rights. He did not say whether he would sign it. The bill would require anti-bullying programs in public schools and language in college codes of conduct to address bullying. Schools would have to form teams to shape policies and review how bullying is handled. The bill had been in the works for 10 months but gained attention after the high-profile suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi in September. He killed himself after his roommate allegedly spied on his liaison with a man on a webcam. Clementi’s family said in a statement that it welcomed the bill. Many of the same measures are suggested, but not required, under a state anti-bullying that’s been on the books since 2002. Lawmakers say it quickly became apparent that the original bill wasn’t doing enough to stop bullying, which is increasingly seen as a major problem for young people, especially online, where it’s harder for the victims to get away from harassment…

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