Senators Hassan, Shaheen Introduce Legislation to Protect Students, Reduce Bullying and Harassment at Colleges and Universities

May 17, 2019

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, joined their colleagues this week in introducing legislation to help reduce bullying and harassment, including cyberbullying, at colleges and universities across the country. 

The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2019 would require institutions of higher education to establish policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, or religion. The bill also establishes a grant program to support campus anti-harassment activities and programs. The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI). 

“The safety, health and well-being of our students must be a priority shared by every academic institution, and a key part of that effort includes combating harassment, wherever and however it occurs,” said Senator Shaheen. “Tyler Clementi’s story is devastating and a stark reminder about the tragic consequences of cyberbullying. This legislation is urgently needed to protect our college communities and hold schools accountable for keeping campuses safe for every student to live and learn.” 

“For students to succeed, they need to be able to learn and grow in a safe environment,” Senator Hassan said. “This is a commonsense bill that should pass without delay to ensure student safety on college campuses across the country.” 

The legislation is named after Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, who died by suicide after his roommate and another student invaded his privacy and harassed him over the internet. One in five college students are victims of cyberbullying, and LGBTQ students are nearly twice as likely to experience harassment as their peers.

To read the fact sheet of the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, click here.