The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) discusses youth activism and anti-hazing in the newest episode of its “DOE Digest” podcast, scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 30.
According to officials, on August 24, Governor Murphy signed “Timothy J. Piazza’s Law,” requiring public and nonpublic middle schools and high schools, as well as higher education institutions, to adopt anti-hazing policies and penalties for violations of the policies.
Officials say the legislation is named after Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old Readington resident and Pennsylvania State University student who died after falling down a flight of stairs as a result of hazing in February 2017.
In a display of the power of sharing stories through civic engagement, a 12-year-old Readington student and friend and neighbor of Timothy Piazza named Matthew Prager wrote a letter to Senator Bateman that helped inspire the legislation.
Prager, now a student at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, will be the featured guest on the podcast, officials say.
“We are thrilled to be able to share Matthew’s podcast interview with educators around the state,” said Kenneth Bond, Acting Director of the NJDOE’s Office of the Professional Learning Network and podcast host.
“The episode is an informative resource for those who are considering how to equip youth for advocacy.”
“The law will help everybody,” Prager said. “It will ease parents’ fears as they send their children off to college. I just want to make sure people will think twice before doing anything that may cause harm.”