(N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14) – (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 (b) (2) and N.J.S.A. 18 A: 37-15.3
“Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying” is defined as any gesture or written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory handicap, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, but not limited to, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds, as provided for in section 16 of P.L.2010, c122 C.18A:37-15.3), that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:
- A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a pupil or damaging the pupil’s property, or placing a pupil in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or
- Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any pupil or group of pupils in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school; and that
- Creates a hostile education environment for the pupil by interfering with a pupil’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the pupil
Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Provisions:
- School districts must establish bully prevention strategies, programs and approaches.
- The first Monday in October must be established as “Respect Me” week with announcements and activities emphasizing inclusion, diversity and self-esteem.
- HIB training for administrators, board members, school liaisons to law enforcement and teachers (as part of their two hour training requirement in suicide prevention) must occur.
- The name and contact information of the anti-bullying specialist for each school and district anti-bullying coordinator be posted on the school’s web site, as well as the school and district’s earned grade from the DOE for HIB policies and programs.
- The superintendent must publicly report to the Board of Education and NJ Department of Education information on violence, vandalism and HIB twice a year: September 1 through January 1; January 1 through June 30.
- The district anti-bullying coordinator must meet at least twice/year with school anti-bullying specialists.
- An annual re-evaluation, re-assessment and review of the district HIB policy must be conducted.
HIB Investigation Procedures
The investigation procedures must include a detailed procedure as follows:
- An initial verbal report to the school principal on the same day as the employee witnesses or receives information regarding any incident.
- The investigation must be initiated by the principal/designee within one school day of the verbal report of an incident.
- A follow-up written report, filed with the school principal, is required by the school employee who witnessed or received information of the HIB incident with two school days. A copy of the report must be forwarded to the district superintendent.
- An investigation must be conducted by the school anti-bullying specialist; however, the principal may appoint additional personnel to assist in the investigation.
- The investigation must be completed within ten days from the date of the written report. (However, if information relative to the investigation is anticipated but not yet received by the end of the ten day period, the school anti-bullying specialist may amend the original report of the results of the investigation to reflect this information).
- The results of the investigation must be reported to the superintendent within two days of the completion of the investigation.
The principal must inform the parents or guardian of all students involved in an alleged incident and may discuss counseling and other intervention services. The parents involved are entitled to receive:
- Information including the nature of the investigation
- Whether the district found evidence of HIB
- Whether discipline was imposed or services were provided to address the HIB
A parent may request a hearing before the board after receiving this information. If the parent requests a hearing, the board must meet in executive session.
A copy of the HIB Board Policy
will can be found here