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Bullying Policy
 
As per the Archdiocese of Newark
MODEL POLICY AND GUIDANCE  FOR PROHIBITING HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION  AND  BULLYING ON  SCHOOL  PROPERTY,  AT SCHOOL-SPONSORED FUNCTIONS

AND ON SCHOOL BUSES

(Revised  November 2008)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This document is designed to provide guidance to local district boards of education in the development, establishment and implementation of policies, procedures and programs for the prevention, intervention and remediation of harassment, intimidation and bullying behavior in schools. The document is divided into six discrete parts, as described below:

 

Part I: Background includes information on the legal context and key points for harassment, intimidation and bullying policies and procedures.

 

Part 2: Guidance for Local Policy Development summarizes the basic requirements for the development of harassment, intimidation and bullying policies and procedures, the minimum components of the policies and procedures and the annual requirements for stafftraining and policy review.

 

Part 3: Use oftbe Model Policy and Guidance includes an explanation of this document and guidance for appropriate uses of the document.

 

Part 4: Model Policy Development: Issues for Consideration, Sample Policy Language and Requirements contains IO specific sections, each providing statutory and regulatory requirements, sample or suggested model policy language, where appropriate, and issues for district boards of education to consider in the development of their locally determined harassment, intimidation and bullying policies and procedures.

 

Part 5: Implementation of Bullying Prevention Policies and Procedures includes specific requirements regarding the annual review of the extent and characteristics of harassment, intimidation and bullying in the school buildings of the districts and the implementation of programmatic or other responses to harassment, intimidation and bullying, the annual review of staff training needs and the implementation of staff training programs to address the training needs and the annual discussion of the harassment, intimidation and bullying policies and procedures with students.

 

Part 6: Resources on Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying lists books, programs and articles pertaining to harassment, intimidation and bullying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

PARTl

BACKGROUND

Legislation (N..!S.A. I SA:37-13 et seq.) enacted on September 6, 2002 required each school district to adopt, by September I, 2003, a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying on school property•, at school-sponsored functions and on school buses. On August 3, 2005, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted regulations on harassment, intimidation and bullying at N.JA.C. 6A:l6-7.9. Additionally, the authorizing statute was amended on August 6, 2007 to require the district's policy to address electronic communications, and was amended again on January 13, 2008 to mandate posting of the policy on the district's website and

notifying students and  parents••  that the policy  is available on  the district's website.

 

To assist each district board of education in developing its harassment, intimidation and bullying policy, the original legislation required the Commissioner of Education to issue a model policy applicable to grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12), by December I, 2002.T his document includes a revision of the model policy originally published in November 2002, revised  in April 2006 and revised again in April 2007, and includes appropriate references to statutes, regulations and emergent  information on harassment,  intimidation and bullying.

 

Under N.JS.A. ISA:37-15 and N.JA.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2, each district board of education is granted local control over the contents of the policy and ancillary procedures, but, at a minimum, the components listed in the authorizing statute and the regulations must be included in the school district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying. Some of the provisions of the authorizing statute and the regulations call for the district board of education to stipulate the consequences and appropriate remedial actions for the following instances: I) persons who violate the policy; 2) persons who engage in reprisal or retaliation against someone who reports a violation of the policy; and 3) persons who falsely report allegations of harassment, intimidation or bullying as a means ofretaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Another provision that appears in the statute and the regulations requires the district board of education's policy to articulate the range of different measures school officials will take to respond to violations of the policy. It is important to note that the range of school responses to incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying must include support for victims and corrective actions for documented systemic problems related to harassment, intimidation and bullying.

 

 

  • Pursuant to NJA.C 6A:16-1.3, the term "school property" means and includes land, portions of land, structures, buildings, and vehicles, when  used for the provision of academic or extracurricular programs sponsored  by the school district or community provider and structures that support these buildings, such as school district wastewater treatment  facilities, generating facilities, and other central service facilities including, but not limited to, kitchens and maintenance shops. School property also includes other facilities as defined in NJA. C. 6A:26-1.2, playgrounds. and recreational places owned by local municipalities, private entities or other individuals during those times when the school district ha.s exclusive use of a portion of such land.

 

•• Pursuant to NJA.C 6A:16-1.3, the term "parent" means the natural parent(s) or adoptive parent(s), legal guardian(s), foster parent(s) or parent surrogate(s) ofa student. Where parents are separated or divorced, "parent" means the person or agency which has legal custody of the studen as well as the natural or adoptive parent(s) of the student, provided such parental rights have not been terminated by a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

 


 

 

 

Additionally, district policy must conform to the case law and statutes, including Saxe v State College A rea School Dist. . 240 F. 3d 200 (3d Cir. 2001); Davis v, Monroe County Board of Education. 526 U.S. 629 (1999); L.W. v. Toms River Reg'! Schs. Bd. of Educ., SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY, 189 N.J. 381; 915 A.2d 535; 2007 N.J. LEXIS 184, November 13, 2006,

Argued, February 21, 2007, Decided; NJ.SA. 2C:33-4, Harassment; NJ.SA. I 0:5-1 el seq., Law Against Discrimination; NJ.S.A. ISA:36-20, Discrimination; prohibition; NJ.SA. I SA:38-5.1, No child to be excluded from school because of race, etc. Additional resources are identified at the end of this document.

 

 

 

PART2

GUIDANCE  FOR  LOCAL POLICY DEVELOPMENT

 

Policy Context

 

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) recognizes that decisions about consequences and actions to be taken in response to violations of policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying should take into consideration the unique circumstances of the acts and the persons involved, as well as the unique conditions and characteristics in each school district. Each district board of education's policy, however, must comport with existing school district policies, including those that address the provisions of NJ.A. C. 6A:16, Programs to Support Student Development,  in general, and NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7.1, Code of student conduct, in particular, as well as the provisions of the district's Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials, pursuant to NJ.A. C. 6A:16-6, Law Enforcement Operations for Substances, Weapons, and Safety.

 

Local Policy Development

 

The following descriptions of applicable regulations make it clear that the content and format of local policies and procedures must be developed locallv :

  • Each district board of education must develop its harassment, intimidation and bullying JZ!!.lkJ:. [n consultation with comprehensive representation from the school and community, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)I, and the policy must be consistent with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7, Student Conduct, as appropriate.
  • Each district board of education's code ofstudent conduct must Include a policy and procedures regarding harassment, Intimidation and bullying, and must be based on parent, student and community Involvement which represents the composition of the schools and communities,  pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7. l(a)I.
  • The code of student conduct, which must include the harassment, intimidation and bullying po!icy, must be based on locally determined and accepted  core ethical  values adopted by the district board of education, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A: I 6-7. l(a)2.
  • The code of student conduct, which must include the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy, must be reviewed annually and updated, as appropriate, pursuant to NJ.A. C. 6A:16- 7. I(a)).


 

 

•The district board of education must annually review the content and characteristics of harassment, intimidation and bullying behavior in the school buildings of the district and implement locally determined programmatic or other response, which could include policy revisions), pursuant to NJ.A. C. 6A:16-7.9(d)3. The programs or other services must be planned in consultation with parents, students and other community members, pursuant to NJ.A.C.   6A:16-7.9(d)3i.

 

Requirements for Policy Contents

Each district board of education has local control over the content of the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy, except that the policy must contain, at a minimum, the following components:

 

•A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying ofa student;

  • A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than that set forth in the definition at NJ.SA. ISA:37-14 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3;
  • A description ofthe type of behavior expected from each student;
  • Appropriate remedial action for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying that takes into account the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student's history of problem behaviors and performance and that may include the following:

A behavioral assessment or evaluation including, but not limited to, a referral to the child study team, as appropriate; and

Supportive interventions and referral services, including those at NJ.A. C. 6A: 16-8;

  • Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying that is: Varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student's history of problem behaviors and performance; and

Consistent with the provisions of NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7, as appropriate;

  • Appropriate consequences and remedial action for any staff member who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying;
  • A procedure for reporting an act ofharassment, intimidation or bullying, including a provision that permits a person to report anonymously an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

The district board of education is not permitted to take formal disciplinary action based solely on the anonymous report;

  • A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations and complaints, identifying either the principal or the principal's designee as the person responsible for the investigation;

Reports and complaints include, but are not limited to, oral reports, written reports or electronic reports;

  • The range of ways in which a school will respond once an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying is identified.

The responses, at a minimum, must include support for victims of harassment, intimidation or bullying and corrective actions for documented systemic problems related to harassment, intimidation or bullying;

  • A statement that prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.


 

 

The statement must include the consequence(s) and appropriate remedial action(s) for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation;

  • Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another as a means of retaliation or as a means of  harassment,  intimidation  or  bullying; and
  • A statement  of how the policy is to be publicized,  including notice that the policy applies to

participation  in school-sponsored  functions and on school buses.

Notice ofthe district board of education's policy must appear in any publication of the school district that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of student conduct, pursuant to NJ.A. C. 6A:16-7.1, for schools within the school district

  • A statement  that the policy must  be posted on the school district's  website and distributed

annually  to  parents and guardians  who  have children enrolled  in the school district. NJ.SA.

18A:37-15(3)(b)(I I)

 

Other Requirements

 

While the requirements cited above must be included in the locally developed policy, additional school district  requirements  regarding  harassment,  intimidation and  bullying  are described below:

 

  • The policy must be made available on the school district's website. NJ.SA. I SA:37-15.2(8);
  • The school district must notify students and parents that the policy is available on the school  district's  website.  NJ.SA. ISA:37-15.2(8);
  • The chief school administrator must ensure that notice of the district's policy will appear in any publication of the school district that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards  for schools within  the school district, and  in any  student handbook. NJ.SA.

l8A:37-15.1(2)(a) and  NJ.A.C.  6A:16-7.9(a)2xii; and

  • The policy must be transmitted to the appropriate county superintendent of schools.

NJ.SA. 18A:37-15.1(2)(a).

  • Information  regarding  the district's  policy against  harassment,  intimidation  and  bullying must be incorporated into a school's employee training program. NJ.SA.: 37-l7(5)(c) and NJ.A.C.   6A:16-7.9(d)li
  • The district is required to annually review the extent and characteristics of harassment, intimidation and bullying behavior in the school buildings of the school district and implement locally determined programmatic or other responses, if determined appropriate  by the district  board of education. NJ.A. C. 6A:16-7.9(d)3
  • The school district is required to annually review the training needs of district staff for the effective implementation of the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy, procedures, programs and initiatives of the district board of education and implement locally

determined staff training programs consistent with the annual review of training needs and the findings of  the annual review and  update of the code of student conduct,  pursuant to

N.J.A. C. 6A:16-7.1(a)3, as determined appropriate  by the district  board of education.

NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)I

  • The school district is required to develop a process for annually discussing the school district's harassment, intimidation and bullying policy with students. NJ.A. C. 6A:I 6- 7.9(d)2

 


 

 

PARTJ

USE OF THE MODEL POLICY AND GUIDANCE

 

Careful consideration of all issues must inform the final policy of the school district. For the reasons explained above and below, the model policy language in this document provides only general points for the district board of education's policy, rather than all-inclusive policy language that addresses local values, issues and priorities. As a result of these local consultation requirements and the impracticality of anticipating the divergent and changing values, needs, priorities and practices of each school district in New Jersey, this document is presented as a

summary guide and model, and is not a complete and final policy to be adopted by the district board of education .

 

Nothing in the model policy language or in the legislation and regulations is meant to preclude a school district from including additional provisions, or from using language and formats that are consistent with the district board  of education's approved  policies and  procedures.  Additionally, the district board of  education  is advised that,  pursuant  to N.J.A.C  6A:16-7.l(c), it is required to integrate the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy and procedures into its code of student conduct, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7. J, rather than create a separate policy for harassment,  intimidation  and bullying behaviors.

 

The  information  provided  in sections 1-10 of Part 4 includes an explanation  of the following:

 

  • The statutory and regulatory provisions that district policies and procedures must include;
  • Suggested  or sample  model policy language,  where appropriate; and
  • Issues for the district to consider in developing policies and procedures that fit its own unique situation  and that are consistent  with existing district  board of education policies.

 

Part 5 contains information on additional requirements and issues for consideration regarding the establishment of bullying prevention programs, but does not include model policy language since these provisions are not  required  elements for harassment,  intimidation  and bullying policies.

 

Part 6 contains  information  on resources regarding  harassment,  intimidation and bullying.

 

 


 

 

PART4

MODEL POLICY DEVELOPMENT:

ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION, SAMPLE POLICY LANGUAGE AND REQUIREMENTS

 

Section I

 

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain a statement prohibiting harassment, Intimidation or bullying of a student N.J.S.A.  18A:37-15(3)(b)(J) and N.J.A.C. 6A: 16-7.9(a)ll

 

Sample Model  Polley Language

The district board of education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student. The district board of education has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards; harassment, intimidation or bullying, Ii/re other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student's ability to learn and a schoo/ 's ability to educate its students in a safe and disciplined environment. Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Policy Development

Although not required, a statement of purpose  is helpful to clearly establish  the goal of the policy. The district board of education may consider  parallel expectations against harassment, intimidation and bullying to include employees, visitors and volunteers; however, care should be taken to ensure that policies for these groups are consistent with the case law, Federal and State laws, regulations and policies, including, but not limited to, those against hazing, bias crimes and assaults, as well as the district's board-approved policies,  procedures and agreements.

 

 

Section 2

 

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain a definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying  no less Inclusive than:

 

"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication• 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, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function or on a school bus and that:


 

 

  1. a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or

 

  1. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school N.J.S.A. ISA:37-14, N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(2), N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.1(2)(b) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2il.

 

Sample  Model Policy Language

The district board of education establishes that "harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture or written, verbal or physical ac/, or any use of eleclronic communicalion (N.JS.A. /8A:37-l 5. I) lhat Jakes place on school property, or at any school-sponsoredJune/ion, on a school bus and lhat:

  1. is moliva/ed by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientalion, gender identity and expression. or a menial, physical or sensory disability; or,
  2. by any other distinguishing characteristic; and
  3. a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, thal the act(s) will have lhe effecl of harming a student or damaging the studenl 's property, or placing a studenl in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or
  4. has the effecl of insulting or demeaning any studenl or group of s/udenls in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substanlia/ interference with, the orderly operation of the schaol.

 

Issues for Consideration  in  Local Policy Development

The district board of education should make clear that the policy includes the motivating factors set forth in the authorizing statute (NJS.A. ISA:37-14). Not all acts of bullying against students, however, are motivated by characteristics such as the target's race, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Some acts of bullying are simply one child exercising power and control over another either in isolated incidents (e.g., intimidation, harassment) or as patterns of harassing or to intimidating behavior (e.g., bullying). If the district board of education chooses

consider acts of bullying not motivated by the factors identified in the authorizing statute, they should take care to ensure  that any expansion  of  the  motivating factors should be consistent with the case  law,  Federal and State statutes, regulations and policies and the district board of education's approved policies, procedures and agreements.

 

The policy and procedures may address and impose consequences for acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying that occur off school grounds, such as "cyber-bullying" (e.g., the use of electronic or wireless devices to harass, intimidate or bully}, to the extent that the policy comports with the provisions of NJA.C. 6A:16-7.6, Conduct away from school grounds, and the district board of education's code of student conduct, pursuant to NJA.C. 6A:16-7. I. In all instances of harassment, intimidation or bullying behavior occurring off school


 

 

grounds, the consequences only may be exercised when it is reasonably necessary for the offending student's physical or emotional safety and  well-being or for reasons relating to the safety and well-being of other students, staff or school grounds,  pursuant to N.JS.A.  I SA:25-2 and  I SA:37-2, and when the conduct which is the subject ofa proposed consequence materially and substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation ofthe school. All acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying that include the use of school property (e.g., school computers, other electronic or wireless communication  devices) apply to the provisions of  N.JS.A.  I SA:37-15 and N.JA.C 6A:16-7.9, Intimidation, harassment and bullying, whether the subject or recipient of the bullying  is on or off school property.

 

  • "£/eclronic communication" means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, compUler, or pager,

 

 

 

Section 3

Statutory and Regulatory  Requirements:  The polky shall include a description  of the type of behavior expected from each student. N.J.S.A. 18A:37- l 5(3)(b)(3) and N.J.A. C 6A:l 6- 7.9(a)21ii

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The dislricl  board of education expec/s sluden/s to conduct 1hemselves in keeping wilh I heir levels of development, malurity and demons/rated capabilities, wilh a proper regard for /he righls and welfare of 01her s/udents and school staff, lhe educa/ional purpose underlying all school activities and the care of school facililies and equipment, consistent with the code of s/udenl conduct.

 

The districl board of education believes /hat s/andards for s1udent behavior must be set cooperalively 1hrough interac/ion among the students, parenls, staff and community members of the school district, producing an almosphere /hat encourages students 10 grow in self-discipline. The developmenl of this atmosphere requires respect for self and a/hers, as well as for districl and community property on /he part of students, stqff and community members.

 

The dislricl board of education believes Iha/  /he bes/  discipline is self-imposed, and tha/ ii is lhe responsibility of slq/J to use inslances of violalions of the code of s/udenl conducl as opportunities for helping s/Udents learn lo assume and accepl responsibility for /heir behavior and 1he consequences of !heir behavior. Slaff members who inleract  with s1uden1s shall apply bes/ praclices designed lo preven/ s/udent conduct problems and

/osier sludenls 'abililies lo grow in self-discipline.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Polley Development

The goal of this section is to explain global expectations for student conduct while providing school administrators with the flexibility  to address developmental ages


 

 

and abilities of students and the unique characteristics of the schools, as is intended in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7. l(b)6. Per the provisions of the authorizing statute, the procedures should be included as a part ofthe district board of education's approved policy, which must be a part of the code of student conduct, pursuant to NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7.l(c)7.

 

Pursuant to NJ.A.C 6A:16-7. l(a) I and 7.9(a) I, the district must involve a broad­ base of school and community members, including parents, students, instructional staff, student  support services staff, school administrators and school  volunteers, as well as community organizations, such as  faith-based,  health and  human service,  business and  law enforcement,  in the development  of the policy.  Based on the locally determined and accepted core ethical values adopted by the district board of education, pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A: I 6-7. l(a)2 ,the district board of education  must develop guidelines for student conduct,  pursuant  to NJ.A.C

6A:16-7.1, taking into consideration the developmental ages of students, the severity ofoffimses and students' histories of inappropriate behaviors, and the mission and physical facilities of the individual schools. Board  policy must require all students in the district to adhere to the rules established by the school district and to submit to the remedial and consequential measures that are appropriately assigned  for infractions of these rules.

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.I, the chief school administrator must annually provide to students and their parents the rules of the district regarding student conduct. Pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(a)lxii(I), the policy must appear in all publications of the school district's comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of student conduct for the schools within the school district, including the student handbook and must be posted on the district's website. Provisions should be made for informing parents whose primary language is other than English.

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C  6A:16-7 and  7.9, the policy should:

  1. Describe student responsibilities, including the requirements for students to conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior; respect the person, property and rights of others; obey constituted authority; and respond to those who hold that authority;
  2. Address appropriate recognition for positive reinforcement for good conduct, self-discipline, good citizenship  and academic success;
  3. Explain student rights; and
  4. Identify sanctions and due process for violations of the code of student conduct.

 

Since bystander support of harassment,  intimidation  or  bullying can reinforce these behaviors, district boards of education should consider including a statement prohibiting active or passive support for acts of harassment,  intimidation or bullying. The district  should encourage students to support students who:


 

 

  • Walk away from these acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying when they see them;
  • Constructively attempt to stop acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying; and
  • Report acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying to the designated school staff.

 

The district might consider adopting a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and  bullying of school  employees,  visitors or  volunteers as a safety  measure  and to foster a climate of civility and respect among all members of and participants in the educational community.

 

Section 4

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall include the consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a person who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  N.J.S.A.  18A:37-15(3)(b)(4), N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2iv and  N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(a)2vi

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The district board of education requires ifs school administrators lo implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses for students who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying, consistent with the code of student conduct, and the consequences and remedial responses for staff members who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the implementation of appropriate consequences and remedial measures for each act of harassment, intimidation or bullying by students. Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental ages of the student offenders and students' histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the code of student conduct.

 

Factors for Determining Consequences

  • Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties  involved;
  • Degrees of harm;
  • Surrounding circumstances;
  • Nature and severity of the behaviors;
  • Incidences of past or continuing  patterns of behavior;
  • Relationships  between the parties involved; and
  • Context in which the alleged  incidents occurred.

 

Factors for Determining  Remedial Measures

 

Personal

  • Life skill deficiencies;
  • Social relationships;


 

 

  • Strengths;
  • Talents;
  • Traits;
  • Interests;
  • Hobbies;
  • Extra-curricular activities;
  • Classroom  participation; and
  • Academic performance.

 

Environmental

  • School culture;
  • School climate;
  • Student-staff  relationships  and staff behavior toward  the student;
  • General  staff management  of classrooms  or other educational environments;
  • Staff ability to prevent  and  manage difficult or  inflammatory situations;
  • Social-emotional and behavioral supports;
  • Social relationships;
  • Community activities;
  • Neighborhood  situation; and
  • Family situation.

 

Examples of Consequences  and  Remedial Measures

 

Consequences and  appropriate  remedial actions  for a student or staff member  who commits one or  more acts of  harassment,  intimidation  or  bullying  may  range  from positive behavioral interventions up to and  including suspension or expulsion  of students, as set forth in the board of education's approved  code of student  conduct,  pursuant  to N.JA.C. 6A:16-7.1. Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or  bullying shall  be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student's history of problem behaviors and performance, and must be consistent with the district board of education's approved code of student conduct and NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7, Student Conduct, Remedial measures shall be designed to co"ect the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the problem; protect and provide support for the victim of the act; and take co"ective action for documented systemic problems related to harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequences and  remedial  measures  may include,  but are  not limited  to, the examples  listed below:

 

Examples  of Consequences

 

  • Admonishment;
  • Temporary  removal  from the classroom;
  • Deprivation of privileges;
  • Classroom or administrative detention;
  • Referral  to disciplinarian;


 

 

  • In-school suspension  during the school week or the weekend;
  • After-school programs;
  • Out-of-school suspension  (short-term or long-term);
  • Legal action; and
  • Expulsion.

 

Examples of Remedial Measures

 

Personal

  • Restitution and restoration;
  • Mediation;
  • Peer support group;
  • Recommendations ofa  student  behavior or ethics council;
  • Corrective  instruction or other relevant  learning or service experience;
  • Supportive student interventions, including participation ofthe Intervention and Referral Services team,  pursuant  to N.JA. C. 6A:16-8;
  • Behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to the Child  Study Team, as appropriate;
  • Behavioral  management  plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored;
  • Assignment of leadership responsibilities (e.g.,  hallway or  bus monitor);
  • Involvement of school "disciplinarian;"
  • Student counseling;
  • Parent conferences;
  • Student treatment; or
  • Student therapy.

 

Environmental  (Classroom, School Building or School District)

  • School and community surveys or other strategies for determining the conditions contributing to harassment,  intimidation or bullying;
  • School culture change;
  • School climate improvement;
  • Adoption of research-based, systemic  bullying  prevention programs;
  • School policy and  procedures revisions;
  • Modifications of schedules;
  • Adjustments  in hallway traffic;
  • Modifications in student routes or patterns traveling to and from  school;
  • Supervision of student  before and after school,  including school transportation;
  • Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, locker room, playground, school perimeter, bus);
  • Teacher aides;
  • Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the behaviors and the responses to the behaviors;
  • General professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated staff;


 

 

  • Professional development  plans for involved staff;
  • Disciplinary action  for school staff who contributed to the problem;
  • Supportive institutional interventions, including participation of the Intervention and  Referral Services team,  pursuant  to NJA.C. 6A:16-8;
  • Parent conferences;
  • Family counseling;
  • Involvement  of parent-teacher organizations;
  • Involvement  of community-based organizations;
  • Development  ofa  general bullying response plan;
  • Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
  • Peer support groups;
  • SchooI transfers; and
  • Law enforcement  (e.g., school resource office, juvenile officer) involvement.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Policy Development

Since NJS.A. !8A:37-15(3)(b)(4) and NJA.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2iv clearly establish that the responses to a person who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying must include bolh consequences and appropriale remedial ac/ions, school officials are responsible for taking all appropriate steps to understand and rectify the problem, which by law involves more lhan 1radilional punilive actions. It is important to note that N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2vi also requires appropriate consequences and remedial actions for any staff member who commits an act of harassment, intimidation and bullying.

  • Consequences - In regard to consequences, only after meaningful consideration of the factors for determining consequences, described above, can an appropriate consequence be determined, consistent with the case law, Federal and State statutes, regulations and policies, and district policies, procedures and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Remedia/ion - In regard to remedialion, only after meaningful consideration of the factors for determining remedial measures can an appropriate remedial response be determined, consistent with the documented  needs of the student or staff member and the unique characteristics of  the situation.

 

The overall school climate and school cu/lure and the individual and institutional factors that contribute to climate and culture might overtly or inadvertently support harassment, intimidation or bullying behavior. These factors always should be considered in the response to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Additionally, in all cases the district should attempt to aclively involve paren/s in the remediation of the behavior(s) of concern. It is only after meaningful consideration of the factors and examples described above that appropriate consequences and remedial responses can be determined, consistent with the documented needs of the student or staff member, the unique characteristics of the student's or staff member's situation and the requirements under NJ.SA. ISA:37-13 et seq. and NJ.A.C. 6A:16-7.9.


 

 

Section 5

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall include a procedure for reporting an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying, including a provision that permits a person to report an act of harassment intimidation or bullying anonymously; however, this shall not be construed to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

N.J.S.A.  18A:37-15(3)(b)(5) and  N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7,9(a)2vii

 

Sample  Model Policy Language

The district board of education requires the principal and/or the principal 's designee at each school to be responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy. All school employees as well as all other members of the school community. including students, parents, volunteers and visitors. are required lo report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or the principal 's designee. While submission of the report form is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available at the school district's central office, or the reporting party may use the district's web-based reporting system. Oral reports also shall be considered official reports. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal action for violations of the code of student conduct may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

 

Issues for Consideration  in  Local Policy Development

The goal of a  reporting  procedure  is to fucilitate  the   reporting of  alleged violations of this policy by making the reporting process simple and  non­ threatening. The district should consider every mechanism available to simplify reporting, including web-based reporting mechanisms and locked boxes located in areas of the school where reports can  be submitted  without  fear of  being observed.

 

Section 6

 

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall include a procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violaJions and complaints, identifying either the principal or the principal's designee as the person responsible/or the investigation. N.J.S.A. 18A:37- 15(3)(b)(6) and  N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2viii

 

Sample Model  Policy Language

The district board of education requires the  principal  and/or the  principal 's designee to be re,1ponsible  for determining  whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, rhe principal and/or the principal 's designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough and  complete  investigation  of each alleged incident.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local  Policy Development

The school district  is encouraged  to  use existing  policies  and  procedures, including those used to investigate allegations of violations of the district board of education's  codes of student  conduct,  pursuant  to NJA.C. 6A:16-7.1,  as


 

 

appropriate. The school district also is encouraged to establish record keeping policies and procedures that create a defensible record which demonstrates the district's efforts to remediate and reduce incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying, and  that  facilitate the evaluation  of the district's efforts to reduce incidents of harassment,  intimidation and bullying.

 

 

Section 7

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain the range of ways in which a school will respond once an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying Is identlfled.  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1S(3)(b)(7) and N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(a)21x

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The district board of education recognizes that some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be isola1ed incidenls requiring 1ha1 lhe school officials respond approprialely lo /he individuals commilling 1he acls. Other acts may be so serious or  parls of a larger pal/em of harassmenl, intimidalion or bullying Iha/ they require  a response either at the classroom, school building or school district levels or by law eriforcemenl officials. Consequences and appropriale remedial actions for a student who commits an act of harassment,  intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under NJ.S.A. I8A:37-l, Discipline of Pupils and as sel forth in NJ.A. C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3, Long-lerm Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions.

 

In considering whelher a response beyond the individual is appropriale, the administrator shall consider the na/ure and circumstances of the act, the degree of harm, the nature and severity of the behavior, past incidences or past or continuing pal/ems of behavior, and the context in which the alleged incident(s} occurred Institutional (i.e., classroom, school building, school districl) responses can range from school and community surveys, lo mailings, to focus groups, lo adoption of research-based bullying prevenlion program models, to training for cenificated and non-certificated slajf, to parlicipalion of paren/s and 01her community members and organizalions, to small or large group presenlalions for fully addressing 1he actions and 1he schoo/ 's response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable s1uden1 and staff member behavior and the consequences of such actions, and to the involvemem of law enforcement officers, including  school resource officers.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Policy Development

For every incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the district mus/ respond appropriately to the individual who committed the act. The district is encouraged to set the range of responses, including individual, classroom, school or district responses to student offenders, as appropriate,  such as the following:


 

 

  • Individual responses can include positive behavioral interventions (e.g., peer mentoring, short-term counseling, life skills groups) and punitive actions (e.g., detention, in-school or out-of-school suspension, expulsion).
  • Classroom responses can include class discussions about an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying, role plays, research projects, observing and discussing audio-visual materials on these subjects and skill-building lessons in courtesy,  tolerance, assertiveness and conflict management.
  • School responses can include theme days, learning station programs, parent programs and information disseminated to students and parents, such as fact sheets or newsletters explaining acceptable uses of electronic and wireless communication devices.
  • District-wide responses can include community involvement in policy review and

development, professional development programs, adoption of curricula and school-wide programs and coordination with community-based organizations (e.g., mental health, health services, health facilities, law enforcement, faith­ based).

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A: I6-7.9(a)ix( I), the district is obligated to provide support for victims of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Districts should identify a range of strategies and resources (e.g., counseling, teacher aides, hallway and playground monitors, mediators, schedule changes, school transfers, before- and after-school and/or school transportation supervision, therapy) that will be available to individual victims of harassment, intimidation and bullying and should respond in a manner that provides relief to victims and does not stigmatize victims or further their sense of persecution. Social skills training provided for all students is an example ofa school or a school district-wide response for addressing victimization.

 

The school district is reminded that the required Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials (N.JA.C. 6A:16-6.2(b)!3) defines the conditions under which school officials are required to report suspected hate crimes or bias-related acts to law enforcement authorities. Since some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be bias-related acts and potentially hate or bias crimes, school officials must report to law enforcement officials either serious acts or those which may be part ofa larger pattern. Additionally, all incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying, including related offender and victim information, must be reported over the NJDOE's Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System, pursuant to N.J.S.A. I SA:17-46 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3.

 

 

Section 8

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain a statement that prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, Intimidation or bullying and the consequence and appropriate remedial action/or a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation. N.J.S.A. 18A:J7-15(J)(b)(8) and N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(a)2x


 

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The district board of education prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a  person who engages in reprisal or retaliation  shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, in accordance with case law, Federal and Stale statutes and regulations and district policies and procedures.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Policy Development

Acts of reprisal or retaliation can have a chilling effect on a school environment, and can create an atmosphere where alleged violations of this policy are not reported. It is important to establish and maintain the norm that all suspected acts of reprisal or retaliation are taken seriously and appropriate responses are made in accordance with the totality of the circumstances. Inconsistent applications of appropriate responses to acts of reprisal or retaliation can contribute  to the culture of violence that this policy  is intended to prevent.

 

 

Section 9

 

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, indmidation or bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(9) and N.J.A.C 6A:16- 7.9(a)2xi

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The district board of education prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment,  intimidation or bullying.

  • Students - The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up lo and including suspension or expulsion, as permilled under N.J.S.A. I SA:37-1, Discipline of Pupils and as set forth in N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions,  N.JA.C  6A:16-7.,  Long-term Suspensions and  N.JA.C  6A:16-7.5, Expulsions.
  • School Employees - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with district policies, procedures and agreements.
  • Visitors or Volunteers - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including  reports to appropriate  law enforcement officials.


 

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Policy Development

The school district is encouraged to consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding individuals who falsely accuse others as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Decisions about consequences and appropriate remedial actions should be consistent with existing case law, Federal and State statutes and regulations and district  policies and procedures.

 

 

Section JO

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements: The policy shall contain a statement of how the policy is to be publicized, including notice that the policy applies to participation in school­ sponsored functions. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(l0) and  N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2xii

 

The policy shall contain a statement that the policy must be posted on the school district's website and distributed annually to parents and guardians who have children enrolled in the school district. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(l l)

 

The policy shall be made available on the school district's website. N.J.S.A. lSA:37-15.2(8)

 

The school district shall notify students and parents that the policy is available on the school district's website. N.J.S.A. lSA:37-15.2(8)

 

The chief school administrator shall ensure that notice of the district's policy shall appear in any publication of the school district that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards for schools within the school district, and in any student handbook. N.J.S.A.

18A:37-15.1(2)(a) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2xil

 

The policy shall be transmitted to the appropriate county superintendent of schools. N.J.S.A.

18A:37-15.1(2)(a)

 

 

Sample Model Policy Language

The district board of education requires school officials to annually disseminate the policy to all school staff, students and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying that occur on school property, at school-sponsoredfuncrions or on a school bus. The chief school administrator shall post the policy on the school district's website as well as annually notify students and parents that the policy is available on the district's website. The chief school administraror shall develop and implement a process for annually discussing the school district policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying with students.

 

Issues for Consideration  in Local Polley Development

The goal of this policy is to foster a safe and disciplined environment that is conducive to learning, where individuals treat one another with civility and respect. To accomplish this goa the policy must be widely disseminated to


 

 

inform everyone in the school and community of its provisions. Districts are required  to  post the  policy on the  district's  website, notify  students and  parents the policy is on the website and include notice of the policy in the district's publications on student conduct. Additionally, a range of options are available to school districts for publicizing the policy, including posting the policy in public buildings or in publications (e.g., newsletters, newspapers, list serves, e-mail), utilization of audio-visual  media (e.g., public cable access,  radio,  public television), mailing copies, requiring all employees, students and parents to sign a written statement indicating that they have received and  read the policy and agree to abide  by the provisions of the policy and  reviewing  the policy at public meetings. While multiple methods for publicizing the policy can  increase the chances of public awareness, support and compliance, the school district is encouraged  to use the strategies that fit its unique situation.

 

 

 

PART5

IMPLEMENTATION OF BULLYING  PREVENTION  POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: Information regarding the district's policy against harassment,  intimidation  and bullying must be inco,porated  into a school's employee training

 program . N.J.S.A.: 37-17(5)(c) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)li

 

The district is required to q11nuallv review the extent a11d chqracteristics of harassment,

intimidation and bullying behavior in the school buildings of the school district and implement locally determined programmatic or other responses , if determined appropriate by the district board of education. N.J.A.C. 6A:I6-7.9(d)3

 

The school district is required  to  qnnuqllv   review the  training  needs of  distrkt  staff/or  the effective implementation of  the  harassment.  intimidation  and bullying  polky. procedures, programs  and initiatives of  the  district  board of education  and implemell(   locally  determined stqff trq(11(11g programs consistent with the annual review of training needs and the findings of the  annual  review and  update  of the code of student  conduct, pursuant  to  N.J.A.C. 6A:16-

7. J(a)J, as determined appropriate by the district board of education. N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)I

 

The school district is required to develop a process for an11uallv discussing the school district's harassment, intimidation and bullying policy with students . N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)2

 

Issues for Consideration

Once school district officials have clearly articulated the preferred  behaviors  for all students in grades K-12, staff members should be trained in skills and strategies for developing student self-discipline and to apply best practices for positive behavioral interventions. It is particularly important to use the policy as an opportunity for preparing staff to effectively in/ervene with instances of harassment, intimidation  and  bullying, as well as use the policy as aprevemion loo/ by explaining to students the school district's expectations  for their behavior and teaching skills and  providing sufficient support for

 

 

20


 

 

students to fulfill the  behavioral expectations, consistent  with the provisions of the district board of education's code of student conduct, including harassment, intimidation and bullying, and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1, Code of student conduct. For students to demonstrate preferred  behaviors,  it is important  that they have a clear understanding of the school district's expectations under the policy, the reasons for and benefits of the policy, the consequences for violations of the policy, as  well as have opportunities to learn preferred  behaviors,  both before and after the advent of conduct problems.

 

It is through explanation,d ialogue and skill building among students and staff that the school district can clearly distinguish, for example, "friendly teasing" and "rough  and tumble  play"  from harassment,  intimidation  and  bullying.  It also  is through discussion that the school district can help students and staff discern between "telling" or responsible "reporting" (which is intended to keep someone from getting hurt) of acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying from "ratting" or "tattling." The school district is encouraged to use experiential learning techniques, such as role play situations and other demonstration and modeling strategies in its information activities for students and staff designed  to prevent and remediate problem behaviors.

 

 


 

 

PART6

RESOURCES ON HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING

 

 

Books and Programs

A Guide to Effective Statewide Laws/Policies: Preventing Discrimination Against LGBT Students in K-12 . GLSEN and Lamda Legal Defense and Education  Fund. 200 I.

 

A School-Based Anti-violence Program . Sudermann, M., Jaffe, P., Schiek, E. et al. (1996). London, ON: London Family Court Clinic.

 

Blueprint for Violence Prevention - Book 9. Bullying Prevention Program . United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

 

Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do . Olweus, D. 1993. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

 

Bullying Behavior: Current Issues. Research and Interventions . Geffuer, R.A., Loring, M. and Young, C. (Eds.) 2001. Haworh Press, New York.

 

Bully proof: A Teachers Guide to Teasing and Bullying for Use with Fourth and Fifth Grade Students . Sjostrom, Lisa, & Stein, Nan. (1996). Boston, MA: Wellesley  College Center  for Research on  Women  and  the NEA  Professional Library.

 

Keys to Dealing With Bullies (Barron's Parenting Keys). Barry Edwards McNamara, Francine McNamara (Contributor). Keys Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's  Educational  Series, 1997.

 

Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools . United States Department of Education. I 999.

 

School Bullying: Insights and Perspectives . Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (1994). London: Routledge.

 

The Bullying Prevention Handbook: A Guide for Principals, T eachers and Counselors . Hoover,

J.H. and Oliver, R. 1996. National Educational Service, Bloomington, IN.

 

Articles

 

Ahmad, Y., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Bullying in schools and the issue of sex differences. In John Archer (Ed.), Male violence. London: Routledge.

Batsche, G. M., & Knoff. H. M. ( 1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review, 23(2), 165-174.


 

 

Charach, A., Pepler, D., & Ziegler, S. ( 1995). Bullying at school--a Canadian perspective: A survey of problems and suggestions  for intervention.  Education Canada, 35( I),  I 2- I 8.

 

Loeber, R. and Dishion, T. (1983). Early Predictors of Male Delinquency: A Review.

Psychological  Bulletin, 94, 69-99.

 

McCoy, E. What to Do... When Kids Are Mean to Your Child (What to Do Parenting Guides, Vol.  I).  Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's  Digest, cl 997. 96 p.:  col. ill.; 21 cm.

 

Nolin, M. J., Davies, E., & Chandler, K. (1995). Studenr viclimizarion at school. National Center for  Education Statistics3/4Statistics in Brief(NCES 95-204).

 

Olweus, D. (1993b). Victimization by Peers: Antecedents and Long-term Consequences. In K.H. Rubin and J.B. Asendorf(eds.), Social Wirhdrawal, Inhibition and Shyness in Childhood Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.

 

Patterson, G.R., DeBaryshe, B.D. and Ramsey, E. (1989). A Developmental Perspective on Antisocial Behaviour. American Psychologist, 44, 329-35.

 

Whitney, I., & Smith, P. K. (1993). A survey ofthe nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. Educational Research, 35( l ), 3-25.


 

 

 

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District Policy

 

5512- HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING (M)

Section: Students
Date Created: August, 2011
Date Edited: April, 2014

 

5512  HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING (M)

 

M

 

Table of Contents

 

Section Section Title

 

A.              Policy Statement

 

B.               Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Definition

 

C.              Student Expectations

 

D.              Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions

 

E.               Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Reporting Procedure

 

F.               Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Anti-Bullying Specialist, and School Safety Team(s)

 

G.              Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Investigation

 

H.              Range of Responses to an Incident of Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying

 

I.                Reprisal or Retaliation Prohibited

 

J.                Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Action for False Accusation

 

K.              Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Publication and Dissemination

 

L.               Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Training and Prevention Programs

 

M.              Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Reevaluation, Reassessment and Review

 

N.              Reports to Board of Education and New Jersey Department of Education

 

O.              School and District Grading Requirements

 

P.               Reports to Law Enforcement

 

Q.              Collective Bargaining Agreements and Individual Contracts

 

R.               Students with Disabilities

 

A.        Policy Statement

 

The Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student.  A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.  Harassment, intimidation, or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe and disciplined environment.  Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

For the purposes of this Policy, the term "parent," pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3, means the natural parent(s) or adoptive parent(s), legal guardian(s), foster parent(s), or parent surrogate(s) of a student.  Where parents are separated or divorced, "parent" means the person or agency which has legal custody of the student, as well as the natural or adoptive parent(s) of the student, provided such parental rights have not been terminated by a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

 

B.         Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Definition

 

“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, as defined in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents that:

 

1.         Is reasonably perceived as being motivated by either 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 disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic;

 

2.         Takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds, as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.3;

 

3.         Substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students; and that

 

a.         A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or

 

b.         Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or

 

c.         Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.

 

Schools are required to address harassment, intimidation, and bullying occurring off school grounds, when there is a nexus between the harassment, intimidation, and bullying and the school (e.g., the harassment, intimidation, or bullying substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students).

 

“Electronic communication” means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to: a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.

 

C.        Student Expectations

 

The Board expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity and demonstrated capabilities with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities and the care of school facilities and equipment consistent with the Code of Student Conduct.

 

The Board believes that standards for student behavior must be set cooperatively through interaction among the students, parents, school employees, school administrators, school volunteers, and community representatives, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline.  The development of this atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for school district and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members.

 

Students are expected to behave in a way that creates a supportive learning environment.  The Board believes the best discipline is self-imposed, and it is the responsibility of staff to use instances of violations of the Code of Student Conduct as opportunities to help students learn to assume and accept responsibility for their behavior and the consequences of their behavior.  Staff members who interact with students shall apply best practices designed to prevent student conduct problems and foster students’ abilities to grow in self-discipline.

 

The Board expects that students will act in accordance with the student behavioral expectations and standards regarding harassment, intimidation, and bullying, including:

 

1.         Student responsibilities (e.g., requirements for students to conform to reasonable standards of socially accepted behavior; respect the person, property and rights of others; obey constituted authority; and respond to those who hold that authority);

 

2.         Appropriate recognition for positive reinforcement for good conduct, self-discipline, and good citizenship;

 

3.         Student rights; and

 

4.         Sanctions and due process for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

 

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(a) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a)1, the district has involved a broad-base of school and community members, including parents, students, instructional staff, student support services staff, school administrators, and school volunteers, as well as community organizations, such as faith-based, health and human service, business and law enforcement, in the development of this Policy.  Based on locally determined and accepted core ethical values adopted by the Board, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a)2, the Board must develop guidelines for student conduct pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1.  These guidelines for student conduct will take into consideration the developmental ages of students, the severity of the offenses and students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors, and the mission and physical facilities of the individual school(s) in the district.  This Policy requires all students in the district to adhere to the rules established by the school district and to submit to the remedial and consequential measures that are appropriately assigned for infractions of these rules.

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1, the Superintendent must annually provide to students and their parents the rules of the district regarding student conduct.  Provisions shall be made for informing parents whose primary language is other than English.

 

The district prohibits active or passive support for acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  Students are encouraged to support other students who:

 

1.         Walk away from acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying when they see them;

 

2.         Constructively attempt to stop acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying;

 

3.         Provide support to students who have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, or bullying; and

 

4.         Report acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying to the designated school staff member.

 

D.        Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions

 

Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions – Students

 

The Board of Education requires its school administrators to implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses for students who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, consistent with the Code of Student Conduct.  The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the implementation of appropriate consequences and remedial measures for each act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying by students.  Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are those that are graded according to the severity of the offense(s), consider the developmental ages of the student offenders and students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the Code of Student Conduct and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.

 

Factors for Determining Consequences – Student Considerations

 

1.         Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved and their relationship to the school district;

2.         Degrees of harm;

3.         Surrounding circumstances;

4.         Nature and severity of the behavior(s);

5.         Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;

6.         Relationships between the parties involved; and

7.         Context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

 

Factors for Determining Consequences – School Considerations

 

1.         School culture, climate, and general staff management of the learning environment;

2.         Social, emotional, and behavioral supports;

3.         Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;

4.         Family, community, and neighborhood situation; and

5.         Alignment with Board policy and regulations/procedures.

 

Factors for Determining Remedial Measures

 

Personal

 

1.         Life skill deficiencies;

2.         Social relationships;

3.         Strengths;

4.         Talents;

5.         Interests;

6.         Hobbies;

7.         Extra-curricular activities;

8.         Classroom participation;

9.         Academic performance; and

10.       Relationship to students and the school district.

 

Environmental

 

1.         School culture;

2.         School climate;

3.         Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;

4.         General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments;

5.         Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;

6.         Social-emotional and behavioral supports;

7.         Social relationships;

8.         Community activities;

9.         Neighborhood situation; and

10.       Family situation.

 

Consequences for a student who commits one or more acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion of students, as set forth in the Board’s approved Code of Student Conduct pursuant to N.J.A.C.     6A:16-7.1.  Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying are those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental age of the student offenders and the students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors consistent with the Board’s approved Code of Student Conduct and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7, Student Conduct.  The use of negative consequences should occur in conjunction with remediation and not be relied upon as the sole intervention approach.

 

Remedial measures shall be designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of the problem, protect and provide support for the victim of the act, and take corrective action for documented systemic problems related to harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  The consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples listed below:

 

 

Examples of Consequences

 

1.         Admonishment;

2.         Temporary removal from the classroom;

3.         Deprivation of privileges;

4.         Classroom or administrative detention;

5.         Referral to disciplinarian;

6.         In-school suspension;

7.         Out-of-school suspension (short-term or long-term);

8.         Reports to law enforcement or other legal action; or

9.         Expulsion.

 

Examples of Remedial Measures

 

Personal – Student Exhibiting Bullying Behavior

 

1.         Develop a behavioral contract with the student.  Ensure the student has a voice in the outcome and can identify ways he or she can solve the problem and change behaviors;

2.         Meet with parents to develop a family agreement to ensure the parent and the student understand school rules and expectations;

3.         Explain the long-term negative consequences of harassment, intimidation, and bullying on all involved;

4.         Ensure understanding of consequences, if harassment, intimidation, and bullying behavior continues;

5.         Meet with school counselor, school social worker, or school psychologist to decipher mental health issues (e.g., what is happening and why?);

6.         Develop a learning plan that includes consequences and skill building;

7.         Consider wrap-around support services or after-school programs or services;

8.         Provide social skill training, such as impulse control, anger management, developing empathy, and problem solving;

9.         Arrange for an apology, preferably written;

10.       Require a reflective essay to ensure the student understands the impact of his or her actions on others;

11.       Have the student research and teach a lesson to the class about bullying, empathy, or a similar topic;

12.       Arrange for restitution (i.e., compensation, reimbursement, amends, repayment), particularly when personal items were damaged or stolen;

13.       Explore age-appropriate restorative (i.e., healing, curative, recuperative) practices; and

14.       Schedule a follow-up conference with the student.

 

Personal – Target/Victim

 

1.         Meet with a trusted staff member to explore the student’s feelings about the incident;

2.         Develop a plan to ensure the student’s emotional and physical safety at school;

3.         Have the student meet with the school counselor or school social worker to ensure he or she does not feel responsible for the bullying behavior;

4.         Ask students to log behaviors in the future;

5.         Help the student develop skills and strategies for resisting bullying; and

6.         Schedule a follow-up conference with the student.

 

Parents, Family, and Community

 

1.         Develop a family agreement;

2.         Refer the family for family counseling; and

3.         Offer parent education workshops related to bullying and social-emotional learning.

 

Examples of Remedial Measures – Environmental (Classroom, School Building, or School District)

 

1.         Analysis of existing data to identify bullying issues and concerns;

2.         Use of findings from school surveys (e.g., school climate surveys);

3.         Focus groups;

4.         Mailings – postal and email;

5.         Cable access television;

6.         School culture change;

7.         School climate improvement;

8.         Increased supervision in “hot spots” (e.g. locker rooms, hallways, playgrounds, cafeterias, school perimeters, buses);

9.         Adoption of evidence-based systemic bullying prevention practices and programs;

10.       Training for all certificated and non-certificated staff to teach effective prevention and intervention skills and strategies;

11.       Professional development plans for involved staff;

12.       Participation of parents and other community members and organizations (e.g., Parent Teacher Associations, Parent Teacher Organizations) in the educational program and in problem-solving bullying issues;

13.       Formation of professional learning communities to address bullying problems;

14.       Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school’s response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student and staff member behavior and the consequences of such actions;

15.       School policy and procedure revisions;

16.       Modifications of schedules;

17.       Adjustments in hallway traffic;

18.       Examination and adoption of educational practices for actively engaging students in the learning process and in bonding students to pro-social institutions and people;

19.       Modifications in student routes or patterns traveling to and from school;

20.       Supervision of student victims before and after school, including school transportation;

21.       Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, locker room, playground, school perimeter, bus);

22.       Targeted use of teacher aides;

23.       Disciplinary action, including dismissal, for school staff who contributed to the problem;

24.       Supportive institutional interventions, including participation in the Intervention and Referral Services Team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;

25.       Parent conferences;

26.       Family counseling;

27.       Development of a general harassment, intimidation, and bullying response plan;

28.       Behavioral expectations communicated to students and parents;

29.       Participation of the entire student body in problem-solving harassment, intimidation, and bullying issues;

30.       Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;

31.       Participation in peer support groups;

32.       School transfers; and

33.       Involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers and juvenile officers or other appropriate legal action.

 

Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions – Adults

 

The district will also impose appropriate consequences and remedial actions to an adult who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student.  The consequences may include, but not be limited to: verbal or written reprimand, increment withholding, legal action, disciplinary action, termination, and/or bans from providing services, participating in school district-sponsored programs, or being in school buildings or on school grounds.  Remedial measures may include, but not be limited to: in or out-of-school counseling, professional development programs, and work environment modifications.

 

Target/Victim Support

 

Districts should identify a range of strategies and resources that will be available to individual victims of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and respond in a manner that provides relief to victims and does not stigmatize victims or further their sense of persecution.  The type, diversity, location, and degree of support are directly related to the student’s perception of safety.

 

Sufficient safety measures should be undertaken to ensure the victims’ physical and social-emotional well-being and their ability to learn in a safe, supportive, and civil educational environment.

 

Examples of support for student victims of harassment, intimidation, and bullying include:

 

1.         Teacher aides;

2.         Hallway and playground monitors;

3.         Partnering with a school leader;

4.         Provision of an adult mentor;

5.         Assignment of an adult “shadow” to help protect the student;

6.         Seating changes;

7.         Schedule changes;

8.         School transfers;

9.         Before- and after-school supervision;

10.       School transportation supervision;

11.       Counseling; and

12.       Treatment or therapy.

 

E.         Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Reporting Procedure

 

The Board of Education requires the Principal at each school to be responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this Policy.  All Board members, school employees, and volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students are required to verbally report alleged violations of this Policy to the Principal or the Principal’s designee on the same day when the individual witnessed or received reliable information regarding any such incident.  All Board members, school employees, and volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students, also shall submit a report in writing to the Principal within two school days of the verbal report.  The Principal will inform the parents of all students involved in alleged incidents, and, as appropriate, may discuss the availability of counseling and other intervention services.  The Principal, upon receiving a verbal or written report, may take interim measures to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of all parties pending the findings of the investigation.

 

Students, parents, and visitors are encouraged to report alleged violations of this Policy to the Principal on the same day when the individual witnessed or received reliable information regarding any such incident.  Students, parents, and visitors may report an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying anonymously.  Formal action for violations of the Code of Student Conduct may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

 

A Board member or school employee who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in this Policy, is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.

 

In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-18, the harassment, intimidation, and bullying law does not prevent a victim from seeking redress under any other available law, either civil or criminal, nor does it create or alter any tort liability.

 

The district may consider every mechanism available to simplify reporting, including standard reporting forms and/or web-based reporting mechanisms.  For anonymous reporting, the district may consider locked boxes located in areas of a school where reports can be submitted without fear of being observed.

 

A school administrator who receives a report of harassment, intimidation, and bullying from a district employee, and fails to initiate or conduct an investigation, or who should have known of an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and fails to take sufficient action to minimize or eliminate the harassment, intimidation, or bullying, may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

F.         Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Anti-Bullying Specialist, and School Safety Team(s)

 

1.         The Superintendent shall appoint a district Anti-Bullying Coordinator.  The Superintendent shall make every effort to appoint an employee of the school district to this position.

 

The district Anti-Bullying Coordinator shall:

 

a.         Be responsible for coordinating and strengthening the school district's policies to prevent, identify, and address harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students;

 

b.         Collaborate with school Anti-Bullying Specialists in the district, the Board of Education, and the Superintendent to prevent, identify, and respond to harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students in the district;

 

c.         Provide data, in collaboration with the Superintendent, to the Department of Education regarding harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students;

 

d.         Execute such other duties related to school harassment, intimidation, or bullying as requested by the Superintendent; and

 

e.         Meet at least twice a school year with the school Anti-Bullying Specialist(s) to discuss and strengthen procedures and policies to prevent, identify, and address harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the district.

 

2.         The Principal in each school shall appoint a school Anti-Bullying Specialist.  The Anti-Bullying Specialist shall be a guidance counselor, school psychologist, or other certified staff member trained to be the Anti-Bullying Specialist from among the currently employed staff in the school.

 

The school Anti-Bullying Specialist shall:

 

a.         Chair the School Safety Team as provided in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21;

 

b.                  Lead the investigation of incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying in the school; and

 

c.                   Act as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying, and addressing incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying in the school.

 

3.         A School Safety Team shall be formed in each school in the district to develop, foster, and maintain a positive school climate by focusing on the on-going systemic operational procedures and educational practices in the school, and to address issues such as harassment, intimidation, or bullying that affect school climate and culture.  Each School Safety Team shall meet, at a minimum, two times per school year.  The School Safety Team shall consist of the Principal or the Principal’s designee who, if possible, shall be a senior administrator in the school and the following appointees of the Principal: a teacher in the school; a school Anti-Bullying Specialist; a parent of a student in the school; and other members to be determined by the Principal.  The school Anti-Bullying Specialist shall serve as the chair of the School Safety Team.

 

The School Safety Team shall:

 

a.         Receive records of all complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students that have been reported to the Principal;

 

b.         Receive copies of all reports prepared after an investigation of an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying;

 

c.         Identify and address patterns of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students in the school;

 

d.         Review and strengthen school climate and the policies of the school in order to prevent and address harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students;

 

e.         Educate the community, including students, teachers, administrative staff, and parents, to prevent and address harassment, intimidation, or bullying of students;

 

f.          Participate in the training required pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 et seq. and other training which the Principal or the district Anti-Bullying Coordinator may request.  The School Safety Team shall be provided professional development opportunities that may address effective practices of successful school climate programs or approaches; and

 

g.         Execute such other duties related to harassment, intimidation, or bullying as requested by the Principal or district Anti-Bullying Coordinator.

 

Notwithstanding any provision of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21 to the contrary, a parent who is a member of the School Safety Team shall not participate in the activities of the team set forth in 3. a., b., or c. above or any other activities of the team which may compromise the confidentiality of a student, consistent with, at a minimum, the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1232 and 34 CFR Part 99), N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7, Student Records and N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.9, Student Records.

 

G.        Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Investigation

 

The Board requires a thorough and complete investigation to be conducted for each report of violations and complaints which either identify harassment, intimidation, or bullying or describe behaviors that indicate harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  The investigation shall be initiated by the Principal or the Principal’s designee within one school day of the verbal report of the incident.  The investigation shall be conducted by the school Anti-Bullying Specialist in coordination with the Principal.  The Principal may appoint additional personnel who are not school Anti-Bullying Specialists to assist with the investigation.

 

The investigation shall be completed and the written findings submitted to the Principal as soon as possible, but not later than ten school days from the date of the written report of the incident.  Should information regarding the reported incident and the investigation be received after the end of the ten-day period, the school Anti-Bullying Specialist shall amend the original report of the results of the investigation to ensure there is an accurate and current record of the facts and activities concerning the reported incident.

 

The Principal shall proceed in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, as appropriate, based on the investigation findings.  The Principal shall submit the report to the Superintendent within two school days of the completion of the investigation and in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.).  As appropriate to the findings from the investigation, the Superintendent shall ensure the Code of Student Conduct has been implemented and may decide to provide intervention services, order counseling, establish training programs to reduce harassment, intimidation, or bullying and enhance school climate, impose discipline, or take or recommend other appropriate action, as necessary.

 

The Superintendent shall report the results of each investigation to the Board of Education no later than the date of the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting following the completion of the investigation.  The Superintendent’s report shall include information on any consequences imposed under the Code of Student Conduct, any services provided, training established, or other action taken or recommended by the Superintendent.

 

Parents of involved student offenders and targets/victims shall be provided with information about the investigation, in accordance with Federal and State law and regulation.  The information to be provided to parents shall include the nature of the investigation, whether the district found evidence of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and whether consequences were imposed or services provided to address the incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  This information shall be provided in writing within five school days after the results of the investigation are reported to the Board of Education.

 

A parent may request a hearing before the Board of Education after receiving the information about the investigation.  The hearing shall be held within ten school days of the request.  The Board of Education shall conduct the hearing in executive session, pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-1 et seq.), to protect the confidentiality of the students.  At the hearing, the Board may hear testimony from and consider information provided by the school Anti-Bullying Specialist and others, as appropriate, regarding the incident, the findings from the investigation of the incident, recommendations for consequences or services, and any programs instituted to reduce such incidents, prior to rendering a determination.

 

At the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting following its receipt of the Superintendent’s report on the results of the investigations to the Board or following a hearing in executive session, the Board shall issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject, or modify the Superintendent’s decision.  The Board’s decision may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:3, Controversies and Disputes, no later than ninety days after issuance of the Board of Education’s decision.

 

A parent, student, or organization may file a complaint with the Division on Civil Rights within one hundred eighty days of the occurrence of any incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on membership in a protected group as enumerated in the "Law Against Discrimination," P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.).

 

H.        Range of Responses to an Incident of Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying

 

The Board shall establish a range of responses to harassment, intimidation, and bullying incidents and the Principal and the Anti-Bullying Specialist shall appropriately apply these responses once an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying is confirmed.  The Superintendent shall respond to confirmed harassment, intimidation, and bullying, according to the parameters described in this Policy.  The range of ways in which school staff will respond shall include an appropriate combination of counseling, support services, intervention services, and other programs.  The Board recognizes that some acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring the school officials respond appropriately to the individual(s) committing the acts.  Other acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building, or school district level or by law enforcement officials.

 

For every incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the school officials must respond appropriately to the individual who committed the act.  The range of responses to confirmed harassment, intimidation, or bullying acts should include individual, classroom, school, or district responses, as appropriate to the findings from each incident.  Examples of responses that apply to each of these categories are provided below:

 

1.         Individual responses can include consistent and appropriate positive behavioral interventions (e.g., peer mentoring, short-term counseling, life skills groups) intended to remediate the problem behaviors.

 

2.         Classroom responses can include class discussions about an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying, role plays (when implemented with sensitivity to a student’s situation or involvement with harassment, intimidation, and bullying), research projects, observing and discussing audio-visual materials on these subjects, and skill-building lessons in courtesy, tolerance, assertiveness, and conflict management.

 

3.         School responses can include theme days, learning station programs, “acts of kindness” programs or awards, use of student survey data to plan prevention and intervention programs and activities, social norms campaigns, posters, public service announcements, “natural helper” or peer leadership programs, “upstander” programs, parent programs, the dissemination of information to students and parents explaining acceptable uses of electronic and wireless communication devices, and harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention curricula or campaigns.

 

4.         District-wide responses can comprise of adoption of school-wide programs, including enhancing the school climate, involving the community in policy review and development, providing professional development coordinating with community-based organizations (e.g., mental health, health services, health facilities, law enforcement, faith-based organizations), launching harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention campaigns.

 

I.          Reprisal or Retaliation Prohibited

 

The Board prohibits a Board member, school employee, contracted service provider who has contact with students, school volunteer, or student from engaging in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or one with reliable information, or any other person who has reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying or who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act, in accordance with case law, Federal and State statutes and regulations, and district policies and procedures.  All suspected acts of reprisal or retaliation will be taken seriously and appropriate responses will be made in accordance with the totality of the circumstances.

 

Examples of consequences and remedial measures for students who engage in reprisal or retaliation are listed and described in the Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions section of this Policy.

 

Examples of consequences for a school employee or a contracted service provider who has contact with students who engage in reprisal or retaliation may include, but not be limited to: verbal or written reprimand, increment withholding, legal action, disciplinary action, termination, and/or bans from providing services, participating in school district-sponsored programs, or being in school buildings or on school grounds.  Remedial measures may include, but not be limited to: in or out-of-school counseling, professional development programs, and work environment modifications.

 

Examples of consequences for a Board member who engages in reprisal or retaliation may include, but not be limited to: reprimand, legal action, and other action authorized by statute or administrative code.  Remedial measures may include, but not be limited to: counseling and professional development.

 

J.          Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Action for False Accusation

 

The Board prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of retaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

1.         Students - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying or as a means of retaliation may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1 et seq., Discipline of Students and as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term Suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7, Long-term Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions and those listed and described in the Consequences and Appropriate Remedial Actions section of this Policy.

 

2.         School Employees - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee or contracted service provider who has contact with students found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying or as a means of retaliation could entail discipline in accordance with district policies, procedures, and agreements which may include, but not be limited to: reprimand, suspension, increment withholding, termination, and/or bans from providing services, participating in school district-sponsored programs, or being in school buildings or on school grounds.  Remedial measures may include, but not be limited to: in or out-of-school counseling, professional development programs, and work environment modifications.

 

3.         Visitors or Volunteers - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation, or bullying or as a means of retaliation could be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act, including law enforcement reports or other legal actions, removal of buildings or grounds privileges, or prohibiting contact with students or the provision of student services.  Remedial measures may include, but not be limited to: in or out-of-school counseling, professional development programs, and work environment modifications.

 

K.        Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Publication and Dissemination

 

This Policy will be disseminated annually by the Superintendent to all school employees, contracted service providers who have contact with students, school volunteers, students, and parents who have children enrolled in a school in the district, along with a statement explaining the Policy applies to all acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 that occur on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or on a school bus and, as appropriate, acts that occur off school grounds.

 

The Superintendent shall ensure that notice of this Policy appears in the student handbook and all other publications of the school district that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards for schools within the school district.

 

The Superintendent shall post a link to the district’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy that is prominently displayed on the homepage of the school district’s website.  The district will notify students and parents this Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy is available on the school district’s website.

 

The Superintendent shall post the name, school phone number, school address, and school email address of the district Anti-Bullying Coordinator on the home page of the school district’s website.  Each Principal shall post the name, school phone number, address, and school email address of both the Anti-Bullying Specialist and the district Anti-Bullying Coordinator on the home page of each school’s website.

 

L.         Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Training and Prevention Programs

 

The Superintendent and Principal(s) shall provide training on the school district’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy to current and new school employees; including administrators, instructors, student support services, administrative/office support, transportation, food service, facilities/maintenance; contracted service providers; and volunteers who have significant contact with students; and persons contracted by the district to provide services to students.  The training shall include instruction on preventing bullying on the basis of the protected categories enumerated in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 and other distinguishing characteristics that may incite incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

Each public school teacher and educational services professional shall be required to complete at least two hours of instruction in harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention within each five year professional development period as part of the professional development requirement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18:37-22.d.  The required two hours of suicide prevention instruction shall include information on the risk of suicide and incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and information on reducing the risk of suicide in students who are members of communities identified as having members at high risk of suicide.

 

Each newly elected or appointed Board member must complete, during the first year of the member’s first term, a training program on harassment, intimidation, and bullying in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-33.

 

The school district shall provide time during the usual school schedule for the Anti-Bullying Coordinator and each school Anti-Bullying Specialist to participate in harassment, intimidation, and bullying training programs.

 

A school leader shall complete school leader training that shall include information on the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying as required in N.J.S.A. 18A:26-8.2.

 

The school district shall annually observe a “Week of Respect” beginning with the first Monday in October.  In order to recognize the importance of character education, the school district will observe the week by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying as defined in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14.  Throughout the school year the district will provide ongoing age-appropriate instruction on preventing harassment, intimidation, or bullying, in accordance with the Core Curriculum Content Standards, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29.

 

The school district and each school in the district will annually establish, implement, document, and assess harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention programs or approaches, and other initiatives in consultation with school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members.  The programs or approaches and other initiatives shall be designed to create school-wide conditions to prevent and address harassment, intimidation, and bullying in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A.    18A:37-17 et seq.

 

M.        Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Reevaluation, Reassessment and Review

 

The Superintendent shall develop and implement a process for annually discussing the school district’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy with students.

 

The Superintendent and the Principal(s) shall annually conduct a reevaluation, reassessment, and review of the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy, with input from the schools’ Anti-Bullying Specialists, and recommend revisions and additions to the Policy as well as to harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention programs and approaches based on the findings from the evaluation, reassessment, and review.

 

N.        Reports to Board of Education and New Jersey Department of Education

 

The Superintendent shall report two times each school year, between September 1 and January 1 and between January 1 and June 30 at a public hearing all acts of violence, vandalism, and harassment, intimidation, and bullying which occurred during the previous reporting period in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46.  The information shall also be reported to the New Jersey Department of Education in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46.

 

O.        School and District Grading Requirements

 

Each school and each district shall receive a grade for the purpose of assessing their efforts to implement policies and programs consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18:37-13 et seq.  The grade received by a school and the district shall be posted on the homepage of the school’s website and the district’s website in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46.  A link to the report that was submitted by the Superintendent to the Department of Education shall also be available on the school district’s website.  This information shall be posted on the websites within ten days of receipt of the grade for each school and the district.

 

P.         Reports to Law Enforcement

 

Some acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying may be bias-related acts and potentially bias crimes and school officials must report to law enforcement officials either serious acts or those which may be part of a larger pattern in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials.

 

Q.        Collective Bargaining Agreements and Individual Contracts

 

Nothing in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13.1 et seq. may be construed as affecting the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement or individual contract of employment in effect on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act’s effective date (January 5, 2011).  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-30.

 

The Board of Education prohibits the employment of or contracting for school staff positions with individuals whose criminal history record check reveals a record of conviction for a crime of bias intimidation or conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit a crime of bias intimidation.

 

R.         Students with Disabilities

 

Nothing contained in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13.1 et seq. may alter or reduce the rights of a student with a disability with regard to disciplinary actions or to general or special education services and supports.  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-32.

 

The school district shall submit all subsequent amended Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policies to the Executive County Superintendent of Schools within thirty days of Board adoption.

 

 

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 through 18A:37-32

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1 et seq.; 6A:16-7.9 et seq.

Model Policy and Guidance for Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying on School Property, at School-Sponsored Functions and on School Buses – April 2011 – New Jersey Department of Education

Memorandum – New Jersey Commissioner of Education – Guidance for Schools on Implementing the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act – December 16, 2011

 

 Adopted:  August 2011

Revised:  April 8, 2014