NJ Lawmakers Approve Tough Law to Fight Bullying

November 22, 2010 - 3:44 PM

Steve Goldstein, Garden State Equality, gay bullying protest

Steve Goldstein, front left, with Garden State Equality, speaks to a gathering of people holding signs while they stand outside the New Jersey Statehouse Monday Nov. 15, 2010, in Trenton , N.J., as lawmakers hold hearings inside into a bill that would toughen New Jersey's anti-bullying laws. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Trenton, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey lawmakers have approved what advocates say will be the nation's toughest laws to fight bullying in institutions of learning.

The state General Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill Monday. It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie.

It would require anti-bullying programs in public schools and language in college codes of conduct to address bullying. The measure would update a law on the books since 2001.

The bill has been in the works for some time but gained attention after the high-profile suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. He killed himself in September after his roommate allegedly spied on his liaison with a man on a webcam.

The Republican governor has not said whether he would sign the bill, but he spoke out against bullying after Clementi's death.