WELCOME TO THE HILLSDALE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING WEBSITE
On September 1, 2011 the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which addresses harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) went into effect in the state of New Jersey. The bill requires schools to implement policies addressing HIB, to train all school employees, to educate students, to establish investigating and reporting procedures and to establish a school safety team to evaluate the climate in the building. The law also expands the rights of students and parents and has changed how we define HIB in schools. The information on this website will help you to gain an understanding of the district's mission and plan to keep all of our students safe!
If your child is experiencing a problem in school, please contact your building Guidance Counselor or Principal and complete the required HIB 338 Form for Families/Caregivers. The issue may or may not rise to the standard of harassment, intimidation or bullying as defined by this law, but if it is a problem for your child, it needs to be addressed. Our staff has been trained on this legislation, our district HIB Policy and Procedure and our district code of conduct.
2022 HIB Amendments
The law requires that all school district employees and contracted service providers who witness or receive reliable information that a student was subject to an act of HIB provide a written report to the Principal within two school days of when the individual witnessed or received that information about the incident. Now, those reports must be on the new HIB 338 Form for Designated Local Education Agency Personnel, which was developed by the DOE. The HIB 338 Form must be kept on file in the school of attendance. However, it may not be kept in any student’s record unless the incident results in disciplinary action or the law otherwise requires it to be kept in a student’s record.
Further, if your child is involved in a HIB incident and you request an appeal hearing before the Board, the school district must confidentially share a copy of the completed reporting form with the Board of Education. However, the form must be redacted to remove all information that could identify the students involved.
Finally, the school district must provide a means for parents and guardians to confidentially report acts of HIB. The reporting form that the school district must provide parents access to is the new HIB 338 Form for Families/Caregivers, also developed by the DOE. The school district website has been updated to provide you with access to the form. Copies of the new HIB 338 Forms are attached hereto for your reference.
Consequences for HIB Behavior
The amendments set forth the consequences that students may be subject to for HIB behavior. For first and second violations, students may be subject to remedial actions (including counseling or behavioral intervention services), disciplinary action, or both, as determined by the Principal, in consultation with appropriate school staff. For third and subsequent violations, the Principal, in consultation with appropriate school staff, must develop an individual student intervention plan, which must be approved by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee, and may include remedial actions, progressive discipline, or both. The student intervention plan may also require that the student, accompanied by a parent or guardian, complete in a satisfactory manner a class or training program to reduce incidents of HIB. In all instances of an affirmative HIB finding, the investigation results must be placed in the student’s record regardless of whether the consequences are remedial or disciplinary in nature. Where disciplinary action is taken, the HIB 338 Form and the investigation results will become part of the student’s discipline file.
In addition, the Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee, and the Principal must consult law enforcement, as appropriate, pursuant to the Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials, if the student’s behavior may constitute a possible violation of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Although the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act does not criminalize the commission of an act of HIB, the underlying act may comprise a criminal offense (for example, hazing or cyber harassment) that is reportable to law enforcement.
The District is now required to post on its homepage the current version of the DOE guidance document, “Guidance for Parents on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.” Previously, this document was accessible by visiting the District’s website and clicking the “Anti-Bullying” webpage. The District has since updated its website to comply with this requirement. In addition, the District must post the contact information for the new School Climate State Coordinator in the same location that it posts its HIB Policy, which is on the “Anti-Bullying” webpage. The District will further update its website to comply with this requirement when the DOE disseminates the contact information.
The School Climate State Coordinator is a new position within the DOE. This individual will serve as a resource to parents, students, and educators, and will, among other things, assist the DOE in creating public information programs concerning the issue of HIB and the resources available to address and prevent incidents of HIB. We await further information from the DOE regarding the State Coordinator and any new resources available for staff members and parents.
The legislature increased the fines that will be imposed on parents or guardians who fail to comply with a condition of sentencing of a minor adjudicated delinquent for cyber-harassment (for example, failing to attend a required class or training program with the minor). Finally, the amendments expanded the liability that may be imposed on parents or guardians of minors who commit cyber harassment. Now, parents or guardians who (1) have legal custody of a minor who is adjudicated delinquent of cyber harassment and who (2) demonstrate willful or wanton disregard in the exercise of supervision and control over the conduct of the minor can be liable in a civil action.