Christie Signs Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights
Teachers, personnel must report bullying incidents to principals
Governor Chris Christie this morning signed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. The law is designed to correct loopholes in New Jersey's current anti-bullying law, which was enacted in 2002.
The law states that teachers and other school personnel must report incidents of bullying to principals the day they occur. An investigation of the incident must begin within one school day. The school must complete its investigation of the incident within 10 school days, after which the situation must be resolved.
Each school district must now have an anti-bullying coordinator and an anti-bullying specialist in every school to lead an anti-bullying team that includes the school's principal, a teacher, and a parent. The specialist must be a guidance counselor, psychologist, or someone who is "similarly trained." The person must be currently employed by the district.
Schools will receive grades on what they are doing to counteract bullying and post those grades on the home page of their website. Schools must also post their anti-bullying specialist's contact information.
Detective Sgt. Charles Ahern said that the Wayne Police Department is proactive in working with the Wayne Public School District to combat bullying. Officers give anti-bullying presentations to students at the district's request.
The law applies to extracurricular, school-related settings including school buses, school-sponsored functions, and bullying off school grounds, including cyber-bullying, that carries over onto school property.
An annual Week of Respect will begin the first Monday in October. Age-appropriate instruction will be given on how to prevent harassment, intimidation, and bullying.