New Anti-Bullying Law: Big Brother is Here

We’re now discovering how the anti-bullying law New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed in January is being implemented, and it’s shocking.  The legislation might as well have been written by George Orwell.

The law, known locally as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is a comprehensive policy that seeks to punish students who engage in “Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying.”  I’m not a fan of any of those things, but this command is a violation of free speech, thought, and association.  In addition the law creates a new bureaucracy of anti-bullying enforcers, and uses precious class time to modify student behavior.

Get ready, folks. Your state’s liberal lawmakers see this one as a model.

Each school district in New Jersey is using the legislation to craft their own implementation plan.  The Paterson Board of Education procured a 29-page policy procedure, entitled, “Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying,” that includes the following:

– The law applies to all acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, including those that occur “off school grounds.”

– Harassment, intimidation, and bullying shall include behavior that is determined to be “insulting.”

– A student will be guilty of harassment, intimidation, and bullying if they are providing “passive support.”  In other words, if a student is watching the incident and does nothing to stop it, that student will be considered an accomplice.

– Consequences for harassment, intimidation, and bullying will include suspension, detention, expulsion, “deprivation of privileges,” and bans from school programs (including sports).

– “Remediation Measures” will include “corrective instruction,” and “behavioral management,” and “therapy.”  This means students will taken out of class and brainwashed by therapists, liberal PH.D.’s and prescription-writing psychiatrists.

– Other plans to deal with harassment, intimidation, and bullying will include “modifications of schedules” and “adjustments in hallway traffic” designed to shun the accused and remove him/her from the general school population.

– For anonymous reporting of harassment, intimidation, and bullying there will be “locked boxes located in areas of a school where reports can be submitted without fear of being observed.”  What a way for a  jilted lover to get even.

As for the layers of bureaucracy, “The Superintendent shall appoint a district Anti-Bullying Coordinator.”  When charges arise, the Coordinator will notify the “Affirmative Action Officer,” who will “provide data…to the Department of Education.”  Also, the “Principal in each school shall appoint a school Anti-Bullying Specialist.” The Specialist will “lead the investigation of incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the school.”  Plus, a “School Safety Team shall be formed in each school” and “receive any complaints of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of pupils that have been reported to the Principle.

This law will be used to institute a Big Brother mindset within our next generation.  They will grow up accepting that they are an arm of the politically correct establishment.  Over the years, as more and more intrusive laws are passed, the neighborhood snitches will be prepared to tattle. Not recycling?  They’ll tell on you.  Spanking your children? They’ll bust you.  Forcing you kids to go to church or pray?  There may be a law against that someday too.

In the meantime freedom of speech, including thought and expression, is being killed by this New Jersey law. How Governor Christie could possibly sign this bill saddens me.

You can read the entire Paterson policy here.


Brian Sussman

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