Today, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is introducing the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act. This bill is an important step forward in stopping harassment on college campuses. It is named after the former Rutgers University student who, in 2010, tragically took his own life after his roommate used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man and spread links to the webcam stream via Twitter.

The Act would require colleges and universities receiving federal aid to develop and distribute a campus harassment policy that would:

  • apply to harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion;
  • prohibit harassment of students, faculty, and staff;
  • describe the school’s harassment prevention programs;
  • explain the procedures that a student should follow if he or she is harassed; and
  • set out the procedures that the school will follow once an incident has been reported, including possible sanctions to be imposed in a disciplinary proceeding.

The bill also provides for a grant program to help post-secondary schools start, expand, or improve their harassment prevention programs or educate and train students, faculty and staff about ways to prevent harassment and/or address harassment if it occurs.

The National Women’s Law Center supports this Act and applauds Senator Lautenberg for his efforts to get universities to focus on addressing harassment, which so often can deprive students of the equal educational opportunities they deserve.

For information about harassment, bullying, and Title IX, see