Anti-Bullying Reporting Procedures
As required by law, our district has a detailed policy regarding harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, and another regarding how such behavior will be investigated. If a student experiences Harassment, intimidation or bullying by another student, the incident can be reported to the School Anti-Bullying Specialists listed below.
Mr. Jamie Edward Ciofalo, District Anti-Bullying Coordinator / email@example.com
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Prevention
Parents’ Guide to NJ Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act
- The NJ Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act requires all school staff to immediately report to the principal all behaviors that may qualify as Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying (HIB).
- An investigation of HIB is not an indictment on a child and is not designed to label a child a bully or target. The purpose of the investigation is to identify behaviors, either intentional or unintentional, that are perceived by others in the school community as problematic. The goal of the investigation is to IDENTIFY problematic behaviors and to REMEDIATE these behaviors in hope that there will be no recurrence or need for future investigations.
- All investigative reports sent to the Board of Education are redacted and DO NOT include student’s names or other identifiable information.
- HIB investigative reports ARE NOT part of your child’s educational record.
- HIB investigative reports ARE NOT placed in your child’s cumulative file.
- HIB investigative reports ARE NOT sent to colleges/universities.
- HIB investigate reports for cases in which your child is found to have committed an act of HIB, and in which your child received discipline for the behavior become a part of your child’s discipline file and must be sent with your child’s discipline file if you transfer your child to a different K-12 school (not college/university).
- The NJ DOE collects HIB data that may include your child’s State Identification Number, not your child’s full name, etc. This data is not shared with any other parties or institutions. Your child’s State Identification Number is known only to the NJ DOE and is not used by any other educational entities.
- Parents are only entitled to receive information about their own child in the form of the enclosed letter within 5 days of the submission of the completed investigation to the Board of Education. Parents are not entitled to receive information regarding other students since this disclosure would be a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- The goal of the NJ Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act is to prevent problematic behaviors that may lead a child to perceive him or herself as the target of HIB and to prevent such students from not attending school due to fear of HIB or from engaging in self-injurious behaviors, or worse, suicide. The goal of the NJ ABR is to ensure that all students feel safe and secure in school. The investigative process is a necessary component of the process to ensure that the school is upholding the requirements of the NJ ABR.
The Englewood Public School system, in accordance with the tenets of the National School Climate Council (NSCC), is committed to developing and maintaining a sustainable, positive school climate that fosters student development and learning necessary for a productive, contributing and satisfying life in a democratic society.
This climate includes:
- Norms, values and expectations that support people feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe;
- People are engaged and respected;
- Students, families and educators work together to develop, live and contribute to a shared school vision;
- Educators model and nurture attitudes that emphasize the benefits and satisfaction gained from learning; and
- Each person contributes to the operations of the school and the care of the physical environment.
The prevention of acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying is a key component of the development and maintenance of a positive school climate. The Englewood Public School system engages in systemic and sustained harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention efforts. These efforts include interdisciplinary school-wide, classroom, and district initiatives that are designed to intervene, empower, remediate and educate students and faculty about HIB behaviors. These initiatives result in a greater sense of self-worth and an overall greater sense of school and community membership for students and staff alike.
What is the definition of HIB under the NJ Anti-bullying Bill of Rights?
HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated 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 disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic; and takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or off school grounds as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18a:37-15.3; and substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students, and that a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or 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.
Conflict vs. Bullying
Bullying is not a conflict between students or among groups of students. Conflict is a mutually competitive or opposing action or engagement, including a disagreement or an argument which is a normal part of human development. Bullying is one-sided, where one or more students are victims of one or more person's aggression, which is intended to physically or emotionally hurt the victim(s).
"Harmful or demeaning conduct motivated only by another reason, for example, a dispute about a relationship or personal belongings, or aggressive conduct without identifiable motivation does not come within the statutory definition of bullying." K.L. v. Evesham School District (App. Div. 2011)
There generally are four types of bullying behaviors. These behaviors and some examples are identified below:
- Verbal – Includes taunting, name calling, malicious teasing or making threats (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);
- Psychological – Includes spreading rumors, purposefully excluding people from activities, breaking up friendships (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);
- Physical – Includes hitting, punching, shoving, spitting or taking personal belongings (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001); and
- Cyberbullying – Includes using the Internet, mobile phone or other digital technologies to harm others. (DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011).
HIB Off School Grounds
School districts are required to address HIB occurring off school grounds, when there is a nexus between the HIB and the school (i.e., the HIB substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students). The bully/victim relationship must be within the same school district for the district to have HIB jurisdiction. If not, then it may be referred to the home district administration as a code of conduct violation.