By Ramsey Cox
Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced a companion measure in the House on the same day.
The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, S. 216, would require colleges and universities that receive federal student aid to have a policy that prohibits harassment of students based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. Schools would be required to inform all students of the policy and notify students of counseling, mental health and other services available to victims of harassment.
The legislation also would require schools to recognize cyber bullying as a form of harassment and it would create a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Education to help colleges and universities to prevent harassment of students. The bill was named after Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University who killed himself in 2010 after students harassed him online.
Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) are co-sponsoring the legislation.