Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
District Anti-Bullying Coordinator
Mr. Mark Johnson
Middle School Anti-Bullying Specialist
Mrs. Heather Coleman
The Hackensack Board of Education expects pupils [and], staff members and community to treat one another with civility and respect, and will not tolerate acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Like other disruptive or violent behaviors, this conduct interferes with an individual’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its pupils in a safe environment.
"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication*, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated 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 disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L.2010, c.122 (C.18A:37-15.3), that 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, 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;
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.
L.2002, c.83, s.2; amended 2007, c.129, s.1; 2010, c.122, s.11.* “Electronic communication” means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.
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 N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6, Conduct away from school grounds, and the Hackensack Board of Education’s code of student conduct, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16:7.1. In all instances of HIB behavior occurring off school grounds, the consequences may be exercised when it is reasonably necessary for the victim and 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.J.S.A. 18A:25-2 and 18A:37-2, and when the conduct which is the subject of proposed consequence materially and substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school. All acts of HIB that include the use of school property (e.g., school computers, other electronic or wireless communication devices) apply to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9, HIB, whether the subject or recipient of the bullying is on or off school property.
The Hackensack Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying against any pupil on school property, at any school sponsored activity or while using district provided transportation, and further prohibits false accusations of bullying made against another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Examples of bullying and harassment may include:
• Verbal abuse including name calling, racist remarks, teasing, etc.
• Physical attacks including pushing, hitting, punching, hair pulling, scratching, spitting
• Social exclusion including ostracism, ignoring, alienating, etc.
• Psychological abuse including acts that instill a sense of fear or anxiety
• Any other act that has the effect of insulting or demeaning any individual or group of individuals in such a way as to cause distress, a reluctance to attend school, a decline in work standards or problem behaviors.
• The use of Cyber or wireless devices to harass, intimidate or bully
The Hackensack 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, shall report alleged violations of this policy to the principal/designee. While submission of the Incident Report form is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from the principal of each building. 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. N.J.S.A. 18A:37- 15(3)(b)(5) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9 (a)2vii
The Hackensack Board of Education recognizes that some acts of HIB may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of HIB that they require a response either at the classroom, school building, district level, or by law enforcement officials. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits an act of HIB may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3, Long-term suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions. In considering whether a response beyond the individual is appropriate, the administrator shall consider the nature and circumstances of the act, the degree of harm, the nature and severity of the behavior, past incidences or past continuing patterns of behavior, and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred.
The Hackensack Board of Education prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of HIB. 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. N.J.S.A 18A:37-15(3)(b)(8) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2x
The Hackensack 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 HIB that occur on school property, at school sponsored functions or on a school bus. The chief school administrator shall develop an annual process for discussing the policy on HIB with students.
The Hackensack Board of Education requires its school administrators to develop and implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses to a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of HIB.