NEWARK – The executive director of a New Jersey gay equal rights group is imploring lawmakers to not cut funding to bullying laws in the wake of the Rutgers University basketball controversy.
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, asked Assembly Budget Committee members Tuesday to fully fund anti-bullying legislation in the state. Stevenson made the comments on the heels of controversy surrounding former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice.
Rice was recently fired after video surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing players, including hurling homophobic slurs at them.
“There are countless reports of this type of bullying going on,” he said. “Funding is absolutely necessary.”
Garden State Equality is one of several voices calling for an investigation into how Rutgers handled the controversy surrounding Rice.
Stevenson called bullying a “public health issue” and told lawmakers “marginalized students experience bullying and harassment at a much larger rate,” according to national statistics.
“Students in New Jersey are no exception to this national trend,” he said.