No school should tolerate bullying, teasing or hazing. Yet these types of behaviors occur frequently in countless classrooms across the country. If your child is bullied, you may feel helpless. However, New Jersey has taken great strides toward putting an end to bullying.
The new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in New Jersey (ABBR) provides in part for an investigation to take place whenever there is a report or an observance of a situation of bullying. Once that happens, it is like a fire alarm being pulled and causes the following sequence of events:
Report — The report of bullying is made to the principal and then must be investigated by the School Anti-Bullying Specialist (a position created by the law), normally a school counselor or, in smaller schools, the principal or vice-principal. The results of the investigation must be sent to the district superintendent and reported to the Board of Education.
Dealing with the students involved — The students involved, in the meantime, are dealt with either under the Student Code of Conduct or through other procedures. The principal may also use counseling or other intervention services depending on the situation.
Appeal — After the report is completed, parents may actually appeal the findings as well as the discipline or actions taken by the principal and/or the anti-bullying specialist.
Assuming you exhaust all of these remedies, you may then pursue a solution in the courts.