I’ve never supported the idea of an “anti-bullying” law, Save Jerseyans.
It’s the grade school equivalent of hate crime legislation; substantively, we’re outlawing something that wasn’t permissible to begin with (at least before the courts deprived teachers of in loco parentis powers through unfortunate “Tinker Doctrine” decisions like New Jersey v. T.L.O.). Procedurally, we’ve created a new nightmare for schools dealing with quite enough student baggage brought from home into the classroom environment.
Call me old fashioned, but the answer to our “bullying” problem isn’t the passage of new burdensome, expensive, hard-to-follow legislation that places additional burdens on overburdened teachers. Rather, we need to EMPOWER teachers by letting them control their classrooms again without interference from administrators who are terrified of “my kid is never wrong” parents (and their attorneys). A superior solution to burdensome “anti-bullying” laws: return control of classroom discipline to teachers!
But my opinion is the minority view in Trenton, folks. Both sides of the aisle love fixing things with legislation; it’s a tangible way to prove they’re working even when the legislation in question is useless. The Governor and many legislators are intent to rescue this well-meaning but woefully misguided legislation after the Council On Madates sunk the bill in its original enacted form. I wish they weren’t!
Governor Christie held a press conference earlier today to announce the proposed changes; he says they have reached a bipartisan consensus: