The U.S. Education Department is today sending a letter to schools and colleges reminding them of their obligations to prevent the harassment of students, The New York Times reported. While the letter is the result of a year-long review, it is being released amid a public debate over reports of bullying in schools and colleges of gay students or of students perceived as gay. “I am writing to remind you that some student misconduct that falls under a school’s anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the federal anti-discrimination laws,” says the letter.
In New Jersey on Monday, lawmakers introduced a bill that would require all public colleges to have specific anti-bullying policies in their student codes of conduct, The Star-Ledger reported. The suicide of a Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, after other students broadcast his encounter with a man in his room, has led to a particular focus in New Jersey on anti-gay bullying.