Clementi Act returns

Tyler Clementi (AP Photo)

In order to combat bullying and harassment on college campuses, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act at Rutgers University and the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s launch of the Tyler Clementi Center. The bill would require federally funded colleges and universities to put in place anti-harassment policies, and would provide funding for schools to establish or expand programs that aim to prevent harassment of students. It would also require schools to recognize cyberbullying as a form of harassment. “The tragic impact of bullying on college campuses has damaged too many young adults, and it is time for our colleges to put policies on the books that would protect students from harassment,” Lautenberg said. Tyler Clementi, the bill’s namesake, was an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University when he took his life in 2010 because his roommate and another student harassed him and violated his privacy over the Internet. The bill was introduced in late 2010 after Clementi’s suicide, but failed to reach a vote before the end of the 111th congress. The Tyler Clementi Center was co-sponsered by Rutgers University and the Tyler Celementi Foundation. It will offer lectures, symposia and seminars on topics including the impact of technologies on youth and emerging adults, especially social media, cyber-bullying and privacy. “I thank Tyler’s family for their inspiring efforts to end bullying and, through their work with Rutgers, to promote conversations and research about preventing harassment,” Holt said.