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Anti-Bullying Laws and the Misguided Drive for Social Equality

December 2, 2010

There's no dearth of important issues for Congress to address in the lame-duck session, but New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg has introduced an entirely gratuitously anti-harassment bill anyway--The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2010. (Congressman Rush Holt introduced the same bill in the House.) Federal civil rights law has long prohibited harassment in schools receiving federal funds; Tyler Clementi was not the victim of harassment or any absence of rules against it: his suicide followed a gross and apparently criminal violation of privacy--the secret taping and broadcast of his sexual encounter with another male. So, there's no need for this bill and no sense in naming it after Clementi--unless you're intent on emotionally blackmailing people into supporting it. Naming legislation after a victim cuts off debate, daring opponents to risk appearing insensitive to the sufferings of survivors... Download file "5"

Cases: Federal Anti-Harassment Bill Threatens First Amendment Rights on Campus