LYNDHURST PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DISTRICT ANTI-BULLYING INFORMATION
What does the Law Say?
- The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law requires any reported incident of HIB that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored event, or on a school bus must be investigated.
- The law also indicates that incidents of HIB that occur outside of school, but impact the students in school, must also be investigated.
- Reported incidents of HIB that occur off school grounds can only be investigated by the school district if the alleged incident substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students.
What is the definition of HIB?
"Harassment, intimidation of bullying" means:
- any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication
- wheather it be a single incident or a series of incidents
- that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic
- such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental physical or sensory [handicap] disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic
- that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function [or], on a school bus, or off school grounds
- which substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students
- a reasonable person should know the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm tohis person or damage to his/her property
- 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)
- 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
The Investigation Process (5 Steps):
1) Beginning an Investigation:
- The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act requires districts to investigate reports of HIB. When someone reports an incident of HIB, the district will follow specific protocol outlined below.
- A formal investigation will be conducted to determine if the reported act falls under HIB as defined by law.
- Parents of potential victims or offenders will be informed that an investigation has begun; building principals will call and send a letter to parents/guardians.
2) During the Investigation Process:
- The School Anti Bullying Specialist (ABS) will conduct a thorough investigation. This process will include interviewing several students and faculty members.
- The ABS will submit the report within 10 school days to the building principal.
- The school administration may implement disciplinary consequences and/or remedial measures according to the School Code of Conduct and to ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff.
3) Completing the Investigation:
- The building principal will approve the report, and will submit the finalized investigation to the superindendent within 2 days.The superintendent will review and approve all investigations, and will submit the report to Board of Education to "present the findings of each report."
- Further consequences and/or remedial measures may be put into place based on the findings.
- Parents of victims or offenders will be informed that an investigation has been concluded, and they will be notified of the outcome of theinvestigation; building principals will call and send a second letter to parents/guardians.
- Additionally parents/Guardians may contact the building principal at any time during the investigation to discuss a HIB Investigation, only pertaining to their child.
4) Presentation of Investigations (First Board of Education Meeting):
- The Board of Education is first "presented" with the findings of a HIB investigation at the closest scheduled Board of Education meeting.
- Parents will receive a letter from the superintendent informing them that the Board of Education has been presented with the findings of the investigation within a closed session meeting.
- Parents/guardians may contact the superintendent to request a hearing in front of the Board of Education to contest the outcome of the process of a HIB investigation.
5) Voting on Finalized Reports (Second Board of Education Meeting):
- The Board of Education votes to affirm the conclusions of the HIB investigation at the following Board of Education meeting.
- Parents will receive a letter from the Board Secretary outlining the Board of Education's decision to uphold the findings of an investigation.
- This letter will include information for parents/guardians who may choose to appeal a school district's decision directly to the State of New Jersey.