Following the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, national attention was focused on the effects of school bullying.
In New Jersey, the state where the suicide occurred, state legislators passed and Governor Chris Christie signed into law Thursday the ‘Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights’ aiming to curtail school bullying.
The bill compels school officials to investigate and report to the state Board of Education incidents of bullying and requires schools to form “school safety teams” to investigate complaints.
The ‘Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights’ passed the New Jersey legislature in November with only one ‘no’ vote in either house. The New Jersey Senate passed the bill 30-0, the Assembly with a vote of 71 in favor, one opposed and five abstentions.
Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, the only legislator to vote against the bill, tells The Daily Caller that he doubts the bill will accomplish its aims, and considers it little more than a publicity stunt.
According to Carroll, “Dealing with bullies is not rocket science; a teacher who doesn’t understand how to react under such circumstances should find another line of work.”
“It represents pretty much a PR statement, to show that we’re ‘doing something,’” says Carroll, “I sincerely doubt that this will help even one child.”
New Jersey Republican State Sen. Diane Allen said in reaction to news that Christie had signed the bill, “we cannot change human nature, we can change how government and school officials respond to unacceptable behavior.”