Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies at one school district can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line. In Elizabeth, children, including kindergartners, will spend six class periods learning, among other things, the difference between telling and tattling. And at one high school, students will be told that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to bullying: if they see it, they have a responsibility to try to stop it, says the New York Times.
But while many parents and educators welcome the efforts to curb bullying both on campus and online, some superintendents and school board members across New Jersey say the new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, reaches much too far, and complain that they have been given no additional resources to meet its mandates. The law, known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is considered the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation. It demands that all public schools adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies. Each school must designate an antibullying specialist to investigate complaints, and each district must have an anti-bullying coordinator.