In November when both of New Jersey’s chambers passed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights with sweeping majorities (a unanimous one in the Senate, in fact, and only one No vote in the House), Gov. Chris Christie sent some mixed messages about whether he’d sign the bill into law. Well, he just did.
Following the bold move of state lawmakers to pass what’s dubbed the nation’s toughest anti-bullying bill, Christie said at the time: “Now, bullying is an important problem in New Jersey, and this anti-bullying bill that was passed is something that when it gets to my desk I’m going to study very closely and decide whether or not I can sign it or whether I need to improve it. But I consider it an extraordinarily important issue to the people of the state, and it will get my full analysis and consideration, and that of my staff. But it is interesting to note that on this law, legislation was introduced on Nov. 8th, passed out of committees in both houses on the 15th and passed by both full houses on the 22nd. In 14 days, the Legislature could study this issue, propose legislation, pass legislation out of committee and have full hearings, then pass them in both full houses. In fourteen days.”
But the governor is over all that now, and has enacted what should really be a model for other states. The law mandates anti-bullying training for teachers, administrators and staff at public schools, and requires schools create a “safety team” to review complaints filed by students and parents.
Man. Where was NOM when you needed them.