Now more than ever, bullying has become a major issue in our school systems. In September 2011, New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Law took effect, providing protection for students who have been victims of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying (HIB)
HIB is defined 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 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.” N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14
If your child has suffered the harmful effects of bullying, please arrange for a consultation with the attorneys at the Barger and Gaines to learn what options are available to you and your child.