NJ Politics Digest: State Anti-Bullying Laws Have Impact on School Sports

New Jersey State House. Library of Congress

A state measure to combat bullying is having an impact on the world of high school sports, as top coaches say they are leaving positions at public high schools rather than worry they might be targeted over unfair allegations, according to a report on NJ.com.

According to the report, 13 veteran coaches who have been accused of bullying have lost their jobs or left their positions since an anti-bullying law was enacted seven years ago. Other coaches have said they have left their jobs or declined promotions due to worries they would be unfairly accused by parents or students unhappy with the coach’s decisions, such as awarding playing time.

The flight from public schools could result in a greater disparity in quality between public and private school sports teams in the state, the report notes.

But some parents and anti-bullying activists say bullying by coaches is a common problem that has long been ignored and is finally getting attention.

Sen. Robert Menendez has a new challenger in his race for reelection, with Republican Bob Hugin launching his bid to unseat the Democrat on Tuesday. The multimillionaire pharmaceutical executive said he was “offended” by Menendez’s actions and “embarrassed” following the incumbent’s trial on corruption charges last fall. That trial ended in a hung jury, and federal prosecutors later decided to drop their case against Menendez.

Quote of the Day: “He still hasn’t come to grips that his promises just aren’t realistic.” — Former Somerset County Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, on Gov. Phil Murphy.

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