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U.S. Senators Baldwin and Murray Introduce Higher Education Anti-Harassment Legislation

On Thursday, March 27, 2014, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2014, which aims to curb bullying and harassment at colleges and universities.

The bill, the latest in a string of versions of the Tyler Clementi Anti-Harassment Act introduced in November of 2010, requires schools receiving financial aid funds under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, including Lawrence, to be more transparent about their policies on bullying and harassment, as well as introducing new grant programs through the Department of Education specifically for campus anti-harassment programming.

“No student or employee should have to live in fear of being who they are;” Baldwin explained in a release late Thursday afternoon. “Our schools should not be, and cannot be a place of discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or violence.”

The legislation is named for Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student who took his own life in September of 2010 after learning his roommate was using a webcam to spy on his homosexual relationship with another student.

Though the bill has not passed in the past, this version seems to have gained increased popularity, including the co-sponsorship of Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).