Lawmaker offers changes to N.J. anti-bullying law to preserve it

One of the primary sponsors of New Jersey’s anti-bullying law plans to file some changes Monday to keep the law in effect.

The state’s Council on Local Mandates ruled in January that the anti-bullying law is an unconstitutional, unfunded mandate on school districts.

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, D-Bergen, is now proposing new language in the legislation that would make some funds available to help schools pay for training and personnel to comply with the law.

“We are redirecting some of the unused funds in the Department of Education and we are putting that money into the bullying fund,” Huttle said. “We hope that will alleviate some of the so-called unfunded mandates that they are referring to.”

Language would be added to the bill saying that combating bullying in schools is part of the state’s constitutional requirement to provide a thorough and efficient system of education.

Huttle said she hopes the Legislature will approve the changes before the council’s ruling that would nullify the law goes into effect March 27.

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