• HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING

    Bullying is a term many are familiar with, however; New Jersey’s legal definition may surprise you. Since 2011, NJ Legislature defines Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) by law. HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act or any electronic communication, whether it is a single incident or a series of incidents, that meets ALL of the following elements:

    • Element 1: Can the act be reasonably perceived as being motivated by either an actual or perceived characteristic such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or mental, physical or sensory disability or by any other distinguishing characteristic?
    • Element 2: Does the act take place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus OR off school grounds?
    • Element 3: Does the act substantially disrupt or interfere with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students?
    • Element 4: Is the act (must be at least one):
      • Physically or emotionally harming to the student? OR
      • Damaging the student’s property? OR
      • Instilling fear of physical or emotional harm to the student? OR
      • Insulting or demeaning to the student or a group of students? OR
      • Creating a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with the student’s education?