The Senate votes 30 to 0 and the Assembly 72 to 1 to approve the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights,” which experts say eliminates the vagueness and loopholes that weaken the anti-bullying laws of the 45 states that have them. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.
The bill is the product of more than a year of intense research by Garden State Equality, which worked with many leading anti-bullying and child welfare experts to come up with a dramatically bolder approach.
Bullied students are up to nine times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-bullied students, according to a 2008 Yale Medical School report. 32 percent of students 12 through 18 are bullied each year, according to a 2009 CDC report. The percentage of students bullied in New Jersey is one percent higher than the national average, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education.