What is Harassment, Intimidation, & Bullying?
N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 defines Harassment, Intimidation, & Bullying as any gesture, any 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 by either an actual or perceived characteristic or distinguishing characteristic of another;
1. Takes place on school property, at school sponsored functions, on a school bus, or off school grounds that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of school or the rights of students;
2. A reasonable person should know it causes physical or emotional harm to another;
3. Insults or demeans any student or group of students;
4. Creates a hostile educational environment for students.
The Board of Education believes standards must be set cooperatively through interaction of students, parents, school employees, administrators, volunteers, and community representatives. The intent is to encourage students to gain self-discipline while developing a respect for self and others to create a supportive learning environment for everyone.
The district prohibits active or passive support of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB). Students are encouraged to support others who: walk away, attempt to stop acts of HIB, provide supports for those subjected, and report acts of HIB to a designated staff member.
Consequences & Appropriate Remedial Action
The Board of Education requires school administrators to implement procedures that ensure both appropriate consequences and remedial response to students who commit one or more acts of HIB that are consistent with the Student Code of Conduct. Consequences shall vary according to grade level, developmental age, nature of the behavior, and the student's history of behavior. The intent is to correct the problematic behavior, prevent another occurrence, and take corrective action. Possible consequences and remedial actions are listed in Policy #5512.
Harassment, Intimidation, & Bullying Reporting Procedures
Any school employee, Board member, service provider, etc. who receives an alleged complaint of a violation of the HIB policy must verbally report to the Principal on the same day of the allegation. In addition, a written report must be submitted within two days of the incident. The Principal may take interim precautions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all parties pending findings of the investigation.
Upon receipt of a complaint the Anti-Bullying Specialist performs an investigation to determine if the alleged allegations are founded. The Principal shall proceed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct based on investigative findings. In addition, each report must be submitted to the Superintendent within two days to ensure the Student Code of Conduct has been implemented.
Note: Parents of students who are involved in an investigation shall be provided with information regarding the investigation. The report should provide the nature of the investigation, whether the district found evidence of HIB, and the consequences that were imposed. This report must be provided within five days after the results of the investigation were reported to the BOE.
Vital Members of the School Community
Anti-Bullying Coordinator- acts as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying, and addressing incidents of HIB. The Anti-Bullying Coordinator is responsible for reporting incidents of HIB to the Superintendent.
Anti-Bullying Specialist- collaborates with the Anti-Bullying Coordinator to ensure all matters of HIB are addressed in a timely manner. In addition, the Anti-Bullying Specialist acts as the school official responsible for preventing, identifying, and addressing incidents of HIB.
Superintendent- reports incidents of HIB each month to the Board of Education.
Board of Education- responsible to affirm, reject, or modify the Superintendent's decision monthly.
School Safety Team- must be established and meet twice a year to develop, foster, and maintain a positive school climate focusing on the on-going, systematic process and practices to address school climate issues and incidents if HIB.
Message from the Superintendent . . .
I invite you to get involved in our efforts to eliminate bullying. Together we can largely reduce the presence of bullying in our schools.
Dr. Brenda Harring-Marro