September marked the implementation of New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law, considered the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation. The law was enacted as a response to the 2010 suicide of a gay Rutgers University student who was spied on by his roommate who used a remote webcam to tape the student’s romantic encounter with another man.
Sadly, the second teen suicide since the implementation of the new law recently took place. According to a report, a New Jersey high school freshman was allegedly the victim of physical and verbal abuse that included being assaulted, robbed and repeatedly threatened with further violence. Three juveniles have been charged with offenses in the alleged bullying.
According to a report, another student was caught assaulting the 15-year-old victim on video camera. The student was suspended but contacted the victim requesting that he tell administration the assault had been a joke. Several days later, the victim was approached in a parking garage and robbed. The other students told the victim it was “punishment for the suspension.”
After the incident one student was charged with robbery, theft, making terroristic threats and conspiracy to commit robbery. The other student was charged with conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to commit robbery. The two were taken to a youth detention center and released under house arrest several days later. The 15-year-old victim of the bullying killed himself the day after the two were released from the detention center. Anti-bullying laws are in place to keep kids safe. Unfortunately, the implementation of the new law may never completely eliminate such behavior.
Source: New Jersey Star-Ledger, “Three teens charges in attacks of N.J. youth who later committed suicide,” Ben Horowitz and Dan Goldberg, May 31, 2012