TRENTON – The state School Boards Association cheered the decision today that struck down an anti-bullying law.
The Council on Local Mandates declared that the state’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights is unconstitutional unless the Legislature provides funding for its implementation.
The council on Friday heard a case from the Allamuchy school district, Warren County, which contested the proposed law.
Marie S. Bilik, executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association, said in a statement following the decision:
“The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights is a well-intentioned statute designed to ensure that no child is ever afraid to go to school because of harassment or intimidation.
“Unfortunately, the legislation required more work prior to enactment, including consideration of the financial and staffing burdens placed on local school districts.
“NJSBA welcomes the opportunity to work with the state Legislature and the Department of Education to design a process that protects our children, provides adequate state financial support and accomplishes its goal effectively without diverting resources from other critical school programs.”
But Sen. Loretta Weinberg, (D-37), Teaneck, decried the decision.
“While we must respect the council’s decision, it is similarly disappointing that this decision was not reached with the benefit of any open public debate,” she said. “There are many school districts across the state that have been implementing their anti-bullying programs without issue, and hopefully their efforts will not be abandoned. Our children deserve these efforts to continue.
“I am committed to working with Senator Buono, Senator Allen and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle to put this law back on the books, where it rightly belongs.”