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New Jersey Lawmakers Hope to Strengthen the State’s Anti-Bullying Laws

(Photo: Sen. Joe Pennacchio has introduced “Mallory’s Law” to toughen NJ’s anti-bullying laws. Pictured: the Senate honors Mallory’s Army on Dec. 18, 2017 for its fight against bullying/Courtesy

TRENTON, NJ (Mercer County) – Two New Jersey lawmakers are pushing bipartisan legislation to standardize and strengthen the state’s pre-existing anti-bullying laws.

State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) announced his support for Mallory’s Law. The anti-bullying law is named in honor of 12-year-old, Mallory Grossman, of Rockaway. According to a press release, Grossman committed suicide on June 14, 2017, after being the victim of relentless bullying.

Mallory’s parents have turned their grief into a call for action by starting, “Mallory’s Army.”  The national movement aims to save other children from the heartbreaking effects of bullying.

 “Mallory’s Law is recognition that stopping the culture of bullying requires a multi-faceted approach that involves students, parents, teachers, and school administrators,” said Senator Pennacchio.  Pennacchio also said that this bill would require school and county officials to address bullying before it gets out of control.

Also backing Mallory’s law is Senator Patrick Diegnan (D-18), who says, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14, a figure partially attributable to cyberbullying.” 

Although New Jersey has the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” – Mallory’s Law would focus more on the school’s reporting and notifying process when bullying occurs.  It would forward a third bullying offenses to the executive county superintendent and the parents of any students involved in the bullying incident.  The bill would also allow New Jersey schools to provide resources to parents to complete online submission forms to report any bullying occurrences. 

Senator Pennachio’s release also explains a major topic that is next to impossible to ignore in today’s climate – cyberbullying. Experts say the there is a growing trend of cyber bullying through phones, computers, and video games.  These platforms can leave children with little to no escape – and in certain circumstances, parents might not be aware of the ongoing bullying.  

“The State of New Jersey must take every appropriate action to reduce bullying by increasing the strength and transparency of the reporting process,” says Senator Pennacchio.

Mallory’s law was first introduced in February 2019. For more on Mallory’s Army, CLICK HERE.

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By: Katie Peters

Katie Moriarty

A Jersey Girl through and through, Katie Moriarty’s interest in broadcasting began while attending Centenary University. Hailing from a showbiz family, she met a prominent TV news anchor, while backstage at BB King’s Blues Club in New York City. She had the privilege of two college internships at Fox News Channel, and upon graduation was hired as a Production Assistant in the FNC newsroom.

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