September 11, 2014
As you know, in January, 2011, Governor Christie signed The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which became effective on September 1, 2011. It is one of the toughest anti-bullying bills in the nation, tightening existing measures to require anti-bullying programs and policies in public schools. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights defines Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying as “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 (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 as provided for in section 16 of P.L. 2010, chapter 122, 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; (or)
B) 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) 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.”’
Please be assured that, as always, the Saddle River School District continues its proactive approach to the issue of bullying. An HIB School Safety Team is in place. In addition, the district’s HIB policy is on the school website home page; highlighting reporting procedures. HIB student assemblies and staff training have been conducted and are ongoing throughout the year. In addition, our character education curricula including Steps to Respect, Second Step, and monthly STAR themes and lessons are being implemented in the classrooms.
We are extremely excited about the programs we are currently planning to further train school staff; to provide strategies and skills to parents and guardians, and to assist students in developing the skills to respond effectively to any bullying overtures they experience. We welcome any suggestions you might have to assist with the important task of ameliorating bullying in our school. Thank you.
District Anti-Bullying Coordinator
School Anti-Bullying Specialist