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Public Statements

Rutgers Coach Firing Highlights Need for Lautenberg, Holt College Anti-Bullying Bill

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U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ-12), the authors of the "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act," today renewed their call for Congress to pass the bill, which would directly apply to the type of behavior exhibited by Mike Rice by prohibiting harassment of students by students, faculty and staff.

"This incident shows us that physical and emotional abuse of college students by faculty is occurring right under our noses. Our Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harrassment Act would require colleges to implement policies strictly prohibiting faculty from bullying students and this incident highlights the need for Congress to support our bill. Rutgers made the right decision by finally firing Mike Rice for his deplorable actions and homophobic slurs, but more needs to be done to make sure this type of abuse is stopped and a strong code of conduct protecting students from such harassment is enforced. We will keep working to stop bullying and ensure that no parent has to worry that his or her child is being abused by their leaders or peers when they are on a college campus," stated Lautenberg and Holt.

In response to a tragic bullying incident at Rutgers University two years ago, Lautenberg and Holt have worked closely with Rutgers and other institutions of higher education to address bullying on campus and introduced the "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act." The legislation would directly apply to this situation at Rutgers as it would specifically prohibit "harassment of enrolled students by other students, faculty and staff."

The legislation for the first time would require colleges and universities to have in place anti-harassment policies. The bill would provide funding for a competitive grant program to support schools seeking to establish or expand programs to prevent harassment of students.

The bill was recently re-introduced in this session of Congress.


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