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New Jersey Enacts Tough Antibullying Law: Should Other States Follow Suit?

Living 2011/09/08 11:00:00
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Sept. 1 was a bad day to be a bully in New Jersey.

On that date last week, the state enacted a strict new antibullying law, which is said to be the toughest in the nation, Time reports.

The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was a reaction to the death of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University who committed suicide last September after his roommate allegedly took a video of his romantic encounter with a man and streamed it on the Internet.

The state responded by indicting Clementi's roommate on hate-crime charges -- and drafting a law requiring public schools to adopt antibullying policies.

According to Time, 47 states already have antibullying statutes (New Jersey had a weaker law in place previously), but the new law goes a step beyond, forcing schools to conduct extensive training of staff and students; appoint safety teams made up of parents, teachers and staff; and launch an investigation of every allegation of bullying within one day.

In other words, the state is pretty much implementing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullies. While this may be great for the kid who's getting picked on, critics say the law places too many demands on teachers, is too costly and will lead to a flood of lawsuits. Do you think other states should follow suit with similar legislation?
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Top Opinion

  • cupcake 2011/09/08 12:46:59
    Yes
    cupcake
    +7
    Enough already! Bullying is just so wrong. To allow it on any level for what ever stupid reason.

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  • 4dc 2011/09/10 22:52:45
    No
    4dc
    if posting a video of a sexual encounter makes you guilty of a hate crime then paris hilton has created how many million murderers?
  • concernedcitizen 2011/09/10 16:04:01
    No
    concernedcitizen
    While I understand the point behind this, I feel that the government can only do so much. At some point, people have to stand up for themselves and take ACTION! This new law will only lead to bigger paychecks for trial lawyers looking for an easy victory in the courtroom. Why do we have to have the government tell us how to conduct ourselves in society? It starts at home. The decline of parenting and the rise of single-parent households has created an environment for bullies to be prevalent as younger generations may not have a strong authority figure or a cheerleader in their home life to encourage them to stand up for themselves and DO WHAT IS RIGHT!
  • Rhiannon Dea 2011/09/09 21:39:34
    Yes
    Rhiannon Dea
    i absolutely thinkg that ALL states should ahve a zero tolereance. there are too many kids who do not have parents who will ilsten to them or even pay attention to them. So, if a kid isbeing bullied and there are other people watching out for it, this could save a kids life... And/or save other kids lives in the future... bullying can have a ripple effect and not just damage the person being bullied, but the person could then take it out on others later....THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE SO ALL SCHOOLS NEED TO GET ON BOARD!
  • ConservativeThinker 2011/09/09 15:08:03 (edited)
    No
    ConservativeThinker
    +1
    I have a several pronged answer. I also do not want to argue with the homosexual or homosexual empathizer about this. So please don't reply with name calling or baiting or reasons why you believe the gay lifestyle is commendable. I won't reply. I'm not looking for another argument about the value or non value of the gay lifestyle.



    To my points:



    NO is not exactly the right answer nor is YES. To me, this is another version of Hate speech which can be used against anyone based upon an ideology. For example, I believe homosexuality is a sin and would preach such. To some, that is considered hate speech. What it really is, is a belief based upon several factors: God's Word, Natural Laws, Logic, Historical Reference, and universal morality. Now, those who disagree with those tenets of my truth can use the law of hate speech as an indictment against my right granted to me by the First Amendment.



    Now. filming a sex act and showing that on the internet is not, in my opinion, bullying. It's an invasion of privacy and (here is where it gets really interesting) defamation of Character.



    So let's look at that last charge: If it is indeed Defamation, then that alone should be enough to condemn the unnatural act of homosexuality. At least, there is logical argument for this premise wouldn't yo...



























































    I have a several pronged answer. I also do not want to argue with the homosexual or homosexual empathizer about this. So please don't reply with name calling or baiting or reasons why you believe the gay lifestyle is commendable. I won't reply. I'm not looking for another argument about the value or non value of the gay lifestyle.



    To my points:



    NO is not exactly the right answer nor is YES. To me, this is another version of Hate speech which can be used against anyone based upon an ideology. For example, I believe homosexuality is a sin and would preach such. To some, that is considered hate speech. What it really is, is a belief based upon several factors: God's Word, Natural Laws, Logic, Historical Reference, and universal morality. Now, those who disagree with those tenets of my truth can use the law of hate speech as an indictment against my right granted to me by the First Amendment.



    Now. filming a sex act and showing that on the internet is not, in my opinion, bullying. It's an invasion of privacy and (here is where it gets really interesting) defamation of Character.



    So let's look at that last charge: If it is indeed Defamation, then that alone should be enough to condemn the unnatural act of homosexuality. At least, there is logical argument for this premise wouldn't you agree?



    Secondly, if the man kills himself because others now know of his unnatural act, why? If homosexuality is natural, then why would the man kill himself? Was it due to embarrassment? Shame? Utter despair? Would one kill himself for being white? Italian? Would this poor man kill himself if he was filmed having sex with a woman?



    I am not unsympathetic nor sad to and for this young man. That is not the point here.



    So I agree that the guy who filmed the sex act should be charged with what I stated above. Bullying? Ok. If you could make that case, what should a bully's sentence be?



    Now, I don't know about you, but some kids tried to bully me through varying stages of my childhood. It was then that I learned to stand and fight back. Those were valuable lessons especially for the bully. it also made me grow into a man who could stand up for himself. Now, what if I had an advocate whether I wanted one or not? What lessons would the bully really learn and what would I have learned? That someone is always going to be there to protect me?



    What I did and what others did in my school, was protect the weak. On several occasions, I replaced the bullied and stood up for him. Others did the same. This might be something that could be taught in schools since we seem to believe that parenting is the schools job today. So, be a parent. Teach the kids how to stand up for themselves and for others. If they cannot, well, then those kids are in for a lot of hard lessons in this life. And, standing does not necessarily mean to engage physically. And let's face it, some kids just can't fight. Some should not fight. But there is no greater lesson learned than knocking a bully on his ass or breaking his nose. Works wonders for his future disposition. And the nose breaker gets to enjoy a pretty good rep for a while and further ensures his safety. At least, that's the way it used to be. Can't say i know what motivates kids today or what lessons stick. Maybe you can enlighten me.



    But, violence is not always the answer. I understand. I wish no one would ever fight or that violence was eradicated from the world. I long and strive for peace. Always did. Sometimes, peace is simply illusive.



    So if all else fails for the abused, then indeed, he/she should have some solid recourse from authorities. But if this law is really a disguise for gay protection, then I'm against it. Just as I am against hurting a homosexual, so am I against condoning his behavior. A little shame might go a long way in changing a life.



    Now, finally, we have the issue of kids killing themselves. Third highest cause of death today amongst teens. This is a deep issue and will not be covered in its entirety here. But I offer to you a supposition, a theory if you will:



    1. Evolution teaches the futility of life. Does it not? If there is no God, then there is no purpose ultimately but to breed and die. Hopelessness.



    2. Fatherless homes. Since the late 60s, the nuclear family has been disappearing at an alarming rate. Funny, a study by Stanford University, I believe, concluded that it was basically a mystery why the family has fallen apart. lol. Really? how about pondering the following:



    1. Again, evolution.

    2. Removing God.

    3. Rampant sex. Divorce

    4. Fallen morals.

    5. Welfare.

    6. Feminist movement. (Militant).

    7. Abortions.



    Anyway, just some thoughts. If you reply, don't name call. I won't answer. If you disagree, establish some logical reasons why. I'll respond. But again, not about the validity of the gay lifestyle.
    (more)
  • momma24 2011/09/09 07:08:46
    No
    momma24
    UNDECIDED button would be nice..... I think that it will cause a lot more problems than we already have. There will be kids who will abuse this law to get back at their victims for trying to speak up, or the victims abusing it as well. It is just another double edged sword unfortunately. Kids are real crazy these days who is to say they wont have a friend beat them up then accuse someone else they don't like because they are different. But I guess they don't think of this? I am for it as long as it won't be as extreme as the California law but hey, I am homeschooling my child so this won't affect us.
  • Little Fawn 2011/09/09 07:00:32
  • Z-Wolf 2011/09/09 04:59:52
    No
    Z-Wolf
    Before anyone gets pissed, I've been a victim of bullying for years. Because I'm "weird" as they like to put it and am not like an average person my age. I think this is stupid. I don't believe bullying is a way to get ready for the real world. But I also think these anti-bullying things are like bubbles.
    Eventually it's going to pop, and the person who's going to pop it is a very pissed off bully. You're making it worse. A way to deal with something like this isn't embarrassing the kid by calling their teacher or having a security guard back them up. It makes them feel like crap if you haven't noticed. It makes them feel weak, and they will choose one of few options...
    1: Suicide
    2: Violence towards bullies (They will ultimately become the bully)
    3: Pulling into yourself until you're a shell of a person.
    4: Putting on a tough face and pulling through.
    Sucks don't it? Well that's how it works. I'm not gonna pretend to have all the answers. But find another solution that won't endanger the kids you're trying to help.
  • Sarah G... Z-Wolf 2011/09/09 08:43:17
  • Lady Wh... Sarah G... 2011/09/09 19:43:43
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    well said
  • Dum Luk 2011/09/09 04:58:26
    Yes
    Dum Luk
    +3
    My biggest complaint is that this is about a century overdue.
  • Lady Wh... Dum Luk 2011/09/09 19:44:03
    Lady Whitewolf
    YA THINK?? **snark alert**
  • Blueskies 2011/09/09 03:37:49 (edited)
    No
    Blueskies
    +1
    When I think of New Jersy I think of the Soprano's, the Mob, and Mafia, the muscle for the upper class bosses, and corrupt faux Unions organised and legally forced on workers by business owners, to keep working people controlled , with thugs and heavies and gunmen keeping the workers cowed....a land of bullies and the bullied.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?...
  • Blueskies Blueskies 2011/09/09 03:39:14
    Blueskies
    +2
    I guess the movies are not always the best place to get educated?
  • Sarah G... Blueskies 2011/09/09 04:32:14
  • Dum Luk Blueskies 2011/09/09 04:59:20
    Dum Luk
    Heh, neither is New Jersey. ;)
  • ShyCuteArtist 2011/09/09 03:21:41
    Yes
    ShyCuteArtist
    +1
    Would make my life and many other easier
  • william 2011/09/09 02:39:58
  • Sarah G... william 2011/09/09 04:32:50
  • Blake_Lynn xP 2011/09/09 02:03:13
    Yes
    Blake_Lynn xP
    +1
    OF COURSE!!! Bulling can ruin a personds life... when we were in like kindergarten we would say "Stick and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me..." well I think it shuold be something more along the line of " Bruises hurt but they Heal... Unkind words scar benath your skin." come on guys it is very simple pass on a kind word and you are almost sure to receive one :)
  • Larry 2011/09/09 01:10:46
    No
    Larry
    +1
    Bullying can not be stoped by laws, only by better parenting.
  • 13_Junk... Larry 2011/09/09 02:05:20
    13_JunkyardDog
    +1
    and this...
  • Sarah G... 13_Junk... 2011/09/09 04:33:44
  • Juliees 2011/09/09 01:01:37
    Yes
    Juliees
    +3
    There are a lot of people that get bullied and a lot of these people carry life long problems because of it.
  • momma24 Juliees 2011/09/09 06:54:57
    momma24
    +1
    I know a few people, one has severe anxiety/panic attacks and the other is severely depressed. I agree.
  • cirquedusolame 2011/09/09 00:47:40
    Yes
    cirquedusolame
    +2
    New Jersey has one of the top K-12 public school systems in the United States, and they spend the most money on students. I think that it's fantastic that they're passing a tougher law (especially since we're still trying to pass Seth's Law, AB 9, here in California). It might set the standards for other states. Because there seems to be so many preventative measures taken in the new antibullying law, I think that teachers would have less stress in the long run. If students aren't being harassed or bullied, then there's a better chance of productivity and scores rising. Students will also be more apt to attend class regularly, which generates more funds for New Jersey schools.
  • Blueskies cirqued... 2011/09/09 04:10:47
    Blueskies
    +1
    Seems like we have a overabundance of these special laws, and a shortage of common sense

    http://www.latimes.com/news/l...
    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=44009
  • momma24 Blueskies 2011/09/09 07:03:03
    momma24
    So glad I am homeschooling my daughter. Scary how this country is going so far downhill.
  • cirqued... momma24 2011/09/10 00:59:34 (edited)
    cirquedusolame
    I know! What parent lets her kid go to school harboring extreme hate for someone's gender expression? Terrible.
  • cirqued... Blueskies 2011/09/10 00:58:30
    cirquedusolame
    I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to bring to attention here.

    Lawrence King was a middle school student who was shot by a classmate, Brandon, because Brandon felt that Lawrence was coming onto him. There were a lot of issues with Lawrence's school and parents, and a lot of victim blaming.

    SB 777 was passed to avoid further heteronormativity in schools and create a safer, more inclusive environment for learning on California K-12 campuses.

    Don't get me wrong, I totally think that Lawrence King's case was one of common sense -- of course you don't shoot another student, no matter how much hate you express toward them. And of course schools should be more inclusive of all backgrounds and living situations; you shouldn't have to tell anyone that! Unfortunately, SB 777 isn't being actively implemented in schools even though it passed four years ago, and there are still people who think that Lawrence King provoked his perpetrator to shoot him.

    These people are the reason why we have to pass and enforce laws that prevent bullying and emphasize a safe environment for learning.
  • Dum Luk cirqued... 2011/09/09 05:03:52
    Dum Luk
    +1
    If that's true, then this country is in dire straits.

    I attended public school in New Jersey and it was a complete waste of my time.

    They also did absolutely nothing to prevent or punish bullying.
  • Wyveryx 2011/09/09 00:36:45
    No
    Wyveryx
    +2
    Where's the undecided button?

    What happens when people stop standing up for themselves? The government does it for them?

    In some situations it would be better for people to stand up for themselves, or they will never have the courage to do so, especially if someone does it for them.
  • cirqued... Wyveryx 2011/09/10 01:04:57
    cirquedusolame
    These laws are being passed, not implemented. In the state of California, there are a ton of fantastic laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment, gives students the rights to file a complaint and receive a reply within a reasonable time period, and requires comprehensive sexual education that is inclusive of all types of relationships.

    But these laws aren't active in a lot of California schools because people don't know about them. For the students that do hear about them, these laws become resources and references when they're trying to influence change on campus. FYI, so much for standing up for myself -- the new standard is that if you fight back (in any way, including physical and verbal), you're in just as much trouble as the kid who bullied you. And no, self-defense is not a valid excuse.
  • Wyveryx cirqued... 2011/09/10 14:29:17
    Wyveryx
    i agree that being confrontational will get you in trouble to the same degree of the person who is doing the bullying, but I think there are times when verbal or even physical confrontation is needed and should be encouraged.
    I know if I could I'd go back and say screw the rules that kept me trapped in a catch 22 and beat the crap out of that bastard.
  • cirqued... Wyveryx 2011/09/13 04:49:14
  • Zamboni - Madoka Magica fan... 2011/09/09 00:34:15
  • Account Closed 2011/09/09 00:22:35 (edited)
    No
    Account Closed
    I don't like Nanny States, I already have an anti-bully deterrent.



    nanny anti-bully deterrent louisville slugger
  • Sarah G... Account... 2011/09/09 04:35:01
  • Account... Sarah G... 2011/09/09 10:43:45
    Account Closed
    You're welcome, I do have advanced techniques for those bullies who just don't get it.

  • Sarah G... Account... 2011/09/09 10:45:37
  • Account... Sarah G... 2011/09/09 10:47:59
    Account Closed
    +1
    You handle bullies your way I will handle them my way.

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