January 07, 2008

Yeeah New Jersey!

The New Jersey legislature just passed a gender identity/expression hate crime and school anti-bullying bill, and the governor is expected to sign it into law.

Congratulations!

The law does the following:

  • Adds "gender identity or expression" as a protected class to the state hate crimes law.
  • Specifies that a "mistake of fact" by a defendant committing a hate crime is not a defense.
  • Requires two hours of hate-crimes sensitivity training for all new police officers.
  • Specifies suggested sentencing options to which judges can sentence defendants, such as anti-hate sensitivity training.
  • Creates a study Commission on Bullying in Schools, which has nine months to investigate the problem and make recommendations to the Governor and legislature for further legislation.
  • Requires schools post their anti-bullying policies on their websites, and to distribute their anti-bullying policies, within 120 days after enactment of the law.

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