An Assertive Anti-Bullying Lawyer
On January 6, 2011 Governor Chris Christie signed one of the toughest laws relating to school-place anti-bullying. Schools are now required, by law, to set up mandatory procedures to detect, monitor, investigate, report, and discipline those who commit “bullying” acts. This Statute now holds school administrators with the responsibility of protecting our children. This act strengthens enforcement efforts, and calls for revisions to NJSA 18A:37-2 (“Prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying on school property, at school-sponsored functions and on school buses“) to add harassment and intimidation as a basis for suspension of a student who is a bully.
The Statue makes two major expansions to the existing anti-bullying law:
First, the definition of harassment now includes: intimidation and bullying for events that occur off school grounds, or behavior that substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school or the rights of students and actions that cause physical or emotional harm or create a hostile educational environment.
Second, the district now must implement certain procedures and report itself to be in compliance. Those new procedures include: appointing an anti-bullying coordinator in each school district and a rigorous reporting protocol for cases of harassment, training administrators, school board members, principals, teachers, staff and contracted service providers, such as cafeteria servers, on anti-bullying measures.
The State Department of Education will review each school district, and give it a grade based upon its compliance and efforts. These grades are expected to be posted on your districts’ school website.
The Statute also considers bullying in the form of emails, texts and other forms of electronic communication.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Options
For more information on New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Act in your children’s schools, or if your child has been bullied, please do not hesitate to contact New Jersey anti-bullying attorney Jennifer Mendelsohn at 201-957-0515.