the staff of the Ridgewood
Ridgewood NJ, from the Ridgewood Schools website, In January, 2011 New Jersey adopted the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act”, which augmented a battery of school harassment and bullying prevention laws that were passed in 2002. Since the 2002 laws were originally adopted, school employees have had an obligation to report harassment and bullying problems which they see, or of which they become aware. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act has made that obligation clearer and broader.
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act reflects a core value to which the Ridgewood Public Schools has long been committed: that respectful behavior fosters a rich and challenging learning environment. A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for pupils to learn and achieve high academic standards. All students should understand that their attitudes and actions affect both their own and their classmates’ learning, and they should accept responsibility for helping to create a positive school environment. With the support of school staff, parent(s)/guardian(s) and other adults in their lives, all students can contribute to the effectiveness of the schools and the value of their education.
The Ridgewood Board of Education explicitly and unequivocally prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of its students. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means 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 pursuant to law, 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. !
Any school employee, contracted service provider, Board of Education member, student or volunteer who has witnessed, or has reliable information that a student has been subject to, harassment, intimidation or bullying is obligated by law to report the incident to the school Principal. !
An act of student harassment, intimidation, or bullying must be reported verbally to the Principal on the same day the person witnesses or receives reliable information regarding the incident. ! The incident must then be reported to the Principal in writing, using the appropriate district form, within two (2) school days of when the incident was observed or the information was received.
As a permanent or substitute school employee, a contracted service provider, a Board of Education member, a student or a volunteer in a New Jersey public school district, one of your responsibilities is to know how to respond if you become aware of harassment, intimidation or bullying that needs to be reported. If you have any questions about how or when to do this, please talk to the school Principal.