Lawmakers in New Jersey on Jan 7 passed legislation to strengthen protections against hate crimes and bullying in schools.
The bill, which Democratic Governor Jon S. Corzine is expected to sign, features two sections of special significance for the LGBT community. One section adds “gender identity or expression” to the state’s existing hate crimes law. It also mandates two hours of anti-hate crimes sensitivity training for new police officers, and offers judges the option of sentencing convicted defendants to anti-hate sensitivity training.
Another key section of the law creates a Commission on Bullying in Schools, and makes it mandatory for schools to post on the Web and widely distribute their anti-bullying policies.